Lampman completes LHS career in rare company

Jalen Lampman celebrates with his teammates after breaking the 2,000 point mark of his high school career, against La Pine, on Monday, Feb. 17.

Very few high school basketball players ever get close to the 2,000-point mark in their career, but Lakeview High School senior Jalen Lampman passed that milestone in his final year playing for the Honkers; finishing with 2,018 points.

Lampman began an interest in basketball in second grade. His father, Randy Lampman, was coaching basketball at Lakeview High School at the time. Lampman would watch his father coach and knew he wanted to become a basketball player. One of the players he looked up to and wanted to emulate was NBA star Steph Curry.

“When my dad was coach at the high school I would just go watch practices and shoot on the side,” said Lampman. “Just watching him coach and like the practices made me want to play basketball.”

Not long afterwards a traveling team was started by Eric Steward and Randy Lampman. This team, comprised of young kids who wanted to play basketball but were not old enough to be part of the middle school basketball teams, traveled across the State of Oregon with Jalen part of the team. Though still learning the game, Jalen wanted to play point guard – the leader of the team in a position most comparable to a quarterback in football.

“Definitely a point guard, that is always what I wanted to play and that’s the position I always played at, practiced at, and what I was good at,” Lampman said.

During this time period Lampman entered into the Elks Hoop Shoot competition, an annual national free throw competition that includes a Lakeview-based regional qualifier. Lampman not only led the regional competition, by age nine he won the national competition.

Advancing from Lakeview to districts, then state, regionals and one of 12 finalists to reach Springfield, Mass., Lampman proved to be the best free throw shooter in the country for his age bracket. He mentioned that his dedication and constant practice was one of the reasons he won the competition, along with his nature of being relaxed on the court.

During the hoop shoot competition he would practice his free throws three times a day. Winning the competition opened up Lampman’s eyes that he could really do something with basketball, with the ultimate goal of earning a scholarship to compete for a college basketball team. With his eyes open, he diligently kept on working on his game.

When he was young he spent hours practicing, not only with his dad coaching him, but also practicing ball handling, shooting, and dribbling skills on his own. He would often go to school gyms to work on his game after school and on weekends.

“I knew I always wanted to play college basketball, and the Hoop Shoot opened my eyes,” said Lampman. “I worked at it every year, and playing with top teams in the state at tournaments and seeing how I could play with them score and pass and do everything I can, it really opened up my eyes that I can do this for a long while if I keep practicing.”

Part of that practice was the constant stream of summer camps that he attended. One of them was the Quick Handle camp, taught by an ex-professional coach at the Oregon Tech campus. Lampman attended the camp for 10 years. The focus of the camp was on ball-handling skills, and competing against other players.

Another camp that Lampman attended for multiple years was the Willamette Pro Basketball Camp in Salem, where he would face off against kids from the big cities in scrimmages and competing against one another to work on their game.

Besides camps, Lampman also participated in a Klamath spring traveling team through the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU). This brought together the best basketball players in the Klamath Basin and Lakeview to travel during the spring on weekends to play other top high school basketball players. Lampman found the traveling team to be an eye opener, and one that raised the attention of college coaches to his talents. He found that he could compete against some of the top players from the 5A and 6A schools on the court.

Lampman also credits the camps, constant practicing, workouts, and more with making him a complete player; something that he knew college coaches were looking for rather than pure shooters - someone who could do it all. He believes that without the traveling teams and the camps he might not have been as noticed by colleges.

“I love it, I loved competing against those top kids from Portland, and showing them I am just as good as you or better,” said Lampman.

During this time period the basketball program at Oregon Institute of Technology (OIT) started to follow Lampman and reach out to him. Lampman felt from that point forward that his goal was to join the Owls, three-time winners of the NAIA in basketball, and even though other schools in Oregon recruited him as well he felt the Owls were the perfect fit with his game - described as a run-and-shoot type of offense with the goal of winning.

That dream was realized late last year, when Lampman formally accepted a scholarship offer from Oregon Tech in a signing ceremony at the Lakeview High School library, accompanied by family and teammates.

“Definitely trying to be the total player, not just being able to shoot,” remarked Lampman. “But being able to drive, dish, rebound, pass. I knew if I want to play at the next level I have to be able to do everything, not just shoot.”

When he entered high school Lampman was tapped as the point guard, and the leader of the Honkers, despite only being a freshman. The team was senior-laden, and there was a young core coming up from the middle school ranks, making playing time hard to come by for talented albeit inexperienced players. Lampman did not get any animosity from the older students for the prominent role he played as a freshman, as he worked on giving everyone the ball and everyone clicked together. He felt that by working together the team performed well.

Other teams did not know about Lampman’s style of play or his devastating outside shot. In his freshman and sophomore years many teams would leave him one-on-one on the outside, which allowed him to drive to the basket or take long three-pointers.

Only in his junior year did other coaches start realizing the threat Lampman represented on the offensive end of the court. They started to double team him and hound him on the offensive end of the ball. During the summer Lampman had not only been working on his normal routine of ball handling skills, but he was also working on getting stronger; something that he knew he had to work on to go against a tougher defense.

Lampman credits his summer workouts with the ability to go against much tougher defenses from opposing coaches, and against teams that knew they had to take him seriously or else they would be burned from the outside.

It was after his junior year that Lampman realized that the 2,000 point mark was within reach. When he initially started high school his goal was not to break the near-impenetrable 2,000 point mark, but to be the best player he could possibly be. So he set out in his final year to break the 2,000 mark, doing so in the La Pine game on Monday, Feb. 17. While his team wanted to celebrate in the middle of the game, Lampman wanted to wait until they had won the game to celebrate the individual accomplishment.

His only regret is that the Honkers never made it back to the State playoffs after his freshman year.

Over his high school career Lampman has always been a leader, starting when he was a sophomore, and helping to bring other players along with him. He feels that he had made everyone a better player on the team over the years.

He is looking forward to playing for the Owls, though he expects to be redshirted his freshman year. That redshirt year will allow him an extra season of eligibility to practice with the team.

At the end of his final year he finished with a fourth First Team All-League and a third League Player of the Year in the Southern Cascade League. He looks forward to his future playing for the Owls, and if the offer comes to play overseas after college, he would jump at that chance.

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