The Brandon Huntley-Hatfield Blog: Playing in a Pandemic, Addressing Rumors and More
Scotland (Penn.) star Brandon Huntley-Hatfield is one of the top forwards in the country with everyone from Kentucky to Kansas to Auburn, among many others, all applying the full-court recruiting press. After dominating showings on the summer circuit, at IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) last season and at USA Basketball, he’s agreed to give SI All-American exclusive access into his world by chronicling everything in his world into a monthly blog.
Hey world, this is Brandon Huntley-Hatfield starting my new Sports Illustrated blog and this is what my life is like on and off the court!
Well, the summer is a lot different now!
I’ve done about six tournaments this summer, but, as you all know, no coaches were there.
They’ve all been livestream events, so that’s been a really big change for all of us.
I’m glad to be able to be playing!
Since everything has been shut down, I’ve really been working on my craft and getting better. I’ve definitely seen the difference since we’ve gotten back out on the court.
I can honestly say that I’ve gotten better; just finishing around the rim, over and through people. My moves are more precise and I’m a lot less one dimensional.
I can see improvement all around, honestly.
Last summer I was playing in front of 25 coaches every game and all of these scouts and stuff, but now it’s just the teams and a couple parents.
It really helps my focus on the court though; that’s what I’ve learned the most. Now I know that the more focused I am and the less I worry about distractions the better I play.
That’s something that I’ll carryover when all this is over.
I stay safe at all times; if I’m not playing, I have my mask on. Plus, I’m constantly washing my hands and keeping my distance. I want to do my part to keep myself and the people around me safe.
My recruitment is going pretty well.
Right now, Kentucky, Kansas, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, Auburn, Ole Miss, Baylor and Tennessee are the schools that I talk to the most. I did a Zoom with Auburn recently and I talked to Wake Forest the other day too.
I want to say this too; I think the word on me is that I’m a lock for Kentucky, just because it’s known that they were my dream school growing up. I want to say here in my blog that I’m not set on any school. I don’t look at things the same way that I did when I was a kid; now I know the importance of picking the right fit and that’s what I’m really focusing on in this process.
I’m not locked in on any one school. I think that’s the thing that’s holding some other schools back from recruiting me, so I just want to let it be know that I’m open to everyone equally at this point.
I also want to address the rumors going around that I’m going to reclassify to 2021; that was a thought at first, but I’m really big on trusting the process and not rushing things.
I’m in the gym everyday getting better and I think it’s really important to not skip steps. Of course, my dream is to be in the NBA, but my goal is to get those big second and third contracts. I want to develop as much as possible so there’s no rush for me.
I’m good staying in the 2022 class and, like I said, I’m focused on getting better and being as ready as possible when I go to the next level.
To make sure of that I put in about six hours in the gym a day. I just feel like if I’m not working then someone else is and they could possibly end up better than me.
I really live in the gym! I love it.
OK, so stepping away from basketball, when I’m not training, I study different players on all different levels and how they work. I try and see what parts of their game I can implement.
Other than that, I eat a lot and relax. Haha!
Musically, I listen to a lot of Lil Baby, Gunna, Pop Smoke, Lil Uzi and a couple others. I don’t really stray outside of hip hop too much.
Oh, I’ve really been working on my driving too! I think I’m getting better.
OK guys that’s it for blog No. 1, I’m about to go back into the lab and get this work in. Check back soon for my next blog and I’ll see you guys then.
Don’t forget to follow Brandon Huntley-Hatfield: