Looking Ahead: Wyoming Basketball Opens 2021 Recruiting with Offer to Julian Hammond III
Basketball is a family tradition for Cherry Creek High School's Julian Hammond III.
His grandfather, Julian Hammond, played at Wichita State, and was a member of the Denver Nuggets from 1967-72, the first five years of what was then an ABA franchise known the Rockets.
His father, Julian II, and mother, Ruby, both played basketball at Loyola Marymount.
And Julian III? Well, right now he is getting ready for his senior year, attracting high-level attention, and recently received his first scholarship offer, from the University of Wyoming, where recently hired Jeff Linder has made it clear he feels there is an importance to a nucleus of players from Wyoming and Colorado.
Hammond was a guest on Basketball Colorado's podcast last week:
"I thought it was a good offer because I really like the coach they have now, and I feel it is a place I could definitely play at," he told Phenom Hoops. "Also knowing some of the people there will help."
Linder did not get hired by Wyoming until mid-March, and while he came up with a seven-man recruiting class for the coming season, his first priority was recruiting what were considered six core players -- juniors-to-be Hunter Thompson from Pine Bluffs, Wyo., and Colorado products Hunter Maldonado and Austin Mueller, and sophomores-to-be Kwane Marble II and Kenny Foster.
And his seven-player recruiting class includes Graham Ike, a 6-9, 245-pounder from Aurora, Colo., who will be a redshirt in 2020-21 while he rehabs a knee injury that required surgery in January.
With what right now would be only two scholarships available for the 2021 recruiting class, the Cowboys would welcome Hammond, who averaged 20.5 points a game as a sophomore at Cherry Creek High School, and followed that up with 20 points, seven rounds and 3.6 assists a game as a junior. He is ranked by 247Sports the seventh-best player in Colorado.
"I just go out and play and try to do whatever it takes for our team to win," he said. "I want to show people I can go out and play with them, and I belong on the court with anyone."
So far, so good.
Not only was he the Centennial League Player of the Year, but it was the lone non-senior selected to the Colorado Class A All-State team.
While basketball has been a focus for Hammond, he did have a breakout junior season as the quarterback for the Colorado Class 5A state champion, which went 14-0, and is starting to stir up football interest, too.
“He’s a warrior,” said Cherry Creek coach Dave Logan. “In my coaching career, I’ve never seen more growth by a quarterback in one year.”
His three offers so far -- all from I-AA schools, Northern Colorado, Montana State and Idaho, although 247Sports lists Wyoming and Colorado having football interest, as well.
"I want to play whichever sports gives me the best chance," he said.
Basketball, however, does have that family lure.
"My grandfather comes to most of our games," Hammond told phone preps. "He was a different player than me so he gives me advice from a different aspect, how to be a hustle player and get points that way."
Check out two Julian Hammond III junior season video from hudl.com: