In the past few years, not many basketball cities have made as much of a splash on a national level as Seattle.
The Emerald City has never been in a drought of basketball talent. Seattle has birthed some of the most athletic (Nate Robinson, Rainier Beach) and creative (Jamal Crawford, Rainier Beach) players to make the NBA. One major player in all of the prep madness is former Garfield Bulldog and Portland Trail Blazer Brandon Roy. Roy didn’t allow his tragically short NBA career stop him from making strides in the basketball world as he went into coaching some of the top talent in Seattle.
In the 2016-2017 season, Brandon Roy landed the Nathan Hale High School head coaching job and a handful of transfer players. Roy received some of the top talent in the nation, including Michael Porter, Jr. and his brother, Jontae Porter, who is a top talent in his own right. Hale also saw Yakima product Marjon Beauchamp move to Seattle to prep as he climbs the national ESPN rankings. The last, and perhaps the most important, piece of this narrative, PJ Fuller, had made the move from Garfield to Nathan Hale in hopes of chasing history, and boy did those Garfield Bulldogs achieve greatness.
The Bulldogs dominated all season. Their closest game came in the championship final at the Les Schwab Invitational in Hillsboro against a stacked Sierra Canyon team that showcased Marvin Bagley III (Duke, Sacramento Kings), Cody Riley (UCLA), and Remy Martin (Arizona State). Sierra Canyon lost by less than ten points, however, that day they passed down the torch of number one team in the nation to Nathan Hale shortly after beating the one and only Oak Hill Academy. Michael Porter, Jr. became a sensation going viral with amazing highlights on YouTube and the wealth spread amongst his teammates as scouts began focusing in on then freshman sensations Marjon Beauchamp and PJ Fuller. They were crowned the WIAA champions and Maxpreps National Champions after a majestic 35-0 season. However, when the time came to defend the title on a national level, Brandon Roy declined their invitation to the Dick’s Sporting Goods Nationals Tournament: an annual tournament held in New York City comprised of the nation’s top eight teams.
The following year in 2017, MPJ had an injury plagued season with the Missouri Tigers, playing less than five minutes and scoring two points and injuring his back and received season ending injury. Brandon Roy packed bags and went go coach his alma mater, Garfield and brought some extra baggage with him. Marjon Beauchamp and PJ Fuller opted to join Garfield on an already extraordinary team with Jamon Kemp (son of Shawn Kemp) and USC commit J’Raan Brooks. They also received another weapon in floor general Pierre Crockwell, Jr., whom opted to return home to Seattle after playing one season at Prolific Prep in NorCal. Garfield went on to take home the State Title, beating conference and city rival Rainier Beach and USC commit Kevin Porter Jr. They ended the season at 28-2, losing only to Gonzaga Prep and at the Geico Nationals when they faced perennial basketball powerhouse Oak Hill Academy.
Now how does Oregon State fit into the picture?
Coach Tinkle and his coaching staff have been watching this growth of basketball power in the Pacific Northwest and keeping an eye, along with the rest of the West Coast, on potential recruits that fit their scheme. However, these kids are a hot commodity, as the attention has slowly shifted from Southern California to Seattle, as Brandon Roy has been commanding a lot of attention wherever he has coached the last two years. This, combined with a strong basketball community with a background of professional and collegiate powers, gives you one of the top high school basketball cities in the nation.
Current Oregon State Recruits In The Seattle Area:
PJ Fuller - Ranked within the ESPN 100, the highly touted senior recently made a big transfer from Garfield (WA) to Findlay Prep (NV) where Bol Bol played last season. Fuller played for the 2017 National Champions Nathan Hale under Coach Brandon Roy and transferred and followed Coach Roy to Garfield, where they enjoyed a 28-2 season, won the 3A WIAA State Championship, losing to a stacked Oak Hill team at the Geico National Championships in New York. Fuller is an extremely athletic 6-4 wing who can sky towards a dunk and/or fill it in the lane with his outstanding guard skills. He holds many offers, including Oregon State, unfortunately, the Beavs did not make his recently posted Top Eight schools.
Marjon Beauchamp - Beauchamp has been on the national radar since he was a lankly eighth grader. He grew into his body and peaked at the ESPN 60 for junior recruits. He has a smooth perimeter game, gets his buckets in few dribbles and is a very creative finisher. Beauchamp played the last few weeks in The Crawsover, formerly known as the Seattle Pro Am, where he impressed Jamal Crawford. He holds several offers but seems to hold Oregon State in high regard
Jamon Kemp - An extremely athletic wing is as high-rising as his surname suggests. Kemp skies up for dunks in traffic and catches lobs with ease. He has a nice smooth handle and is improving his stroke. While his three point shot is inconsistent, he can make an open ball from three point land if needed. He played alongside Marjon and PJ Fuller on Adidas Gauntlet team Team Bradley Northwest Panther. Kemp holds offers from USD and Montana, but Oregon State has expressed interest.