Timothy Kempton is a 6-foot-9, 235-pound senior PF who attends Brophy Prep and committed to Lehigh University, which is in Pennsylvania. In my opinion, Kempton is the best senior power forward in the state. He is an extremely skilled offensive player with shooting range out to the 3-point line. He is your classic “stretch 4” for college ball, but with actual post moves. He can go left or right with his inside jump hooks. Once he develops more handles and focuses more on the defensive end, he will become an amazing get for college.
Here is a recent conversation he had with Arizona Preps (AP) ...
AP: Tell me a little about your family.
Timothy: My dad is Tim Kempton and he played in the NBA for 9 years and overseas professionally for 9 years. My mom wrestles us all around; getting us from place to place. I have 2 brothers and 1 sister. Both my brothers play basketball, Michael and Matthew, and my sister plays volleyball.
AP: Why did you start playing basketball? Did dad force you to play? (Joking)
Timothy: To some extent, my dad forced me to, but I played baseball my whole life actually. I didn’t start basketball until around 7th grade. I just got too tall for baseball, and it was too slow of a sport for me. I pitched and played 1st base. So, I just went around the game obviously with my dad and I went a lot with him when he went overseas - I picked up the game through him.
AP: When was your 1st dunk ever?
Timothy: The summer before my freshman year in club-ball.
AP: First time you knew you were good?
Timothy: Still trying to figure that out, but I didn’t get into the club scene that much until 7th grade. So my 8th grade summer I started focusing more attention on basketball, and I got to the point or level that I wanted to get at the time - and at what people expected of me at the time also. So I started getting good then.
AP: What weakness would you want to improve before you play college?
Timothy: Ball handling! That’s one of the big things. I obviously will probably play the stretch 4 or 5 position in college. But in college you need handles to play on the perimeter. Also being able to handle the ball under pressure. I’m practicing bringing the ball up court and just dribbling around the 3-point line and stuff like that. Just trying to improve my game.
AP: Tell me about your recruiting process? Was it stressful or fun? Did you like the attention or was it something you had to do?
Timothy: I don’t know what people say about it, but I wouldn’t say it’s fun - but to me it was interesting. I wouldn’t want to go through it again if you gave me the option though. The only fun part was being able to have the ability to have some options, and people are coming to watch you and watch you perform. It makes you feel different. It was hard making a decision and my dad made me call all the coaches I said no to. That was the toughest part of my process was talking to the other coaches after I committed to Lehigh and telling them that I committed to a different school.
AP: Why did you actually choose Lehigh University? Was it comfort level, coaching staff, academics or location?
Timothy: Choosing Lehigh had to do with feeling comfortable about everything - playing time that would be available and having the right academics. My mom was big on the academic side, while my dad was big on the basketball side. I tried to pick the best of both worlds. So, when I took my visit, it just felt special and I actually was thinking about committing on the spot. I love Brett Reed and all the assistant coaches. I felt real good there. There was actually another recruit with me who committed on the spot and I was going to also, but my mom told me no that you don’t want to rush into a tough decision after that high of an amazing visit. So then I took my visit to Pacific University and it wasn’t anything like what I felt with Lehigh.
AP: Do you have a pre-game meal?
Timothy: No, I don’t have a pre-game meal.
AP: What is your favorite food?
Timothy: My favorite food is sushi.
AP: What is your favorite video game?
Timothy: Don’t play video games a lot, but I would have to say 2k13.
AP: If your not playing basketball, what are you doing?
Timothy: Hanging with friends and just being a teenager I guess. I play volleyball sometimes with my friends. I played volleyball my freshman year in HS. It’s fun to go mess around and do that.
AP: What is your personal goal for the year?
Timothy: My personal goal would obviously be Player of the Year. But as a team, I’m just trying to get that state ring. That’s been my goal since my freshman year. There is nothing like that feeling.
AP: What will it take to win it all?
Timothy: We just have to play together as a team. Defensively is the most important thing for us. Offensively things will come. We will get up shots and make shots, but we lost tonight and gave up 79 points. That’s horrendous, so we will have to focus on defense. Just working the defensive side of the ball. Taking rest on the offensive side of the ball, not the defensive side is very important.
AP: Knowing what you know now, what would you change, if anything at all, if you could start HS basketball over again?
Timothy: Taking things slower. I took my HS experience for granted. It comes upon you so fast. I remember my freshman year and here I am already. Like, I needed to pay attention more, and now I’m sitting here and it’s my senior year. Take things slowly and cherish things.
AP: Any last things you want to add to Arizona Preps?
Timothy: Thank you for your time and thank you to Arizona Preps.