The first piece of Penn State’s much-touted, much-anticipated Class of 2016 is getting a jump on his career as a Nittany Lion.
Oak Hill Academy forward Joe Hampton, coming off a knee injury that prevented him from playing during the 2015-16 season, is set to enroll at University Park on Saturday.
“Joe Hampton will be here this weekend,” said Chambers. “He’s a legit 6-8, lefty, can stroke the three. He has a great post-up game. Has great feet, great hands, can go off the bounce if he wants to. Big, big body. Big Ten ready body. We just gotta get him in shape.”
That process of chiseling Hampton will begin in earnest starting Monday.
Taking classes in both the first and second academic summer sessions lasting six weeks beginning Monday and lasting through August, it’s a jump Nittany Lion head coach Patrick Chambers is excited to have Hampton start. And, even though Hampton missed all of Oak Hill’s season, he has been medically cleared to participate and work out, which he’s already doing.
“He's running, he's shooting, he's working out,” said Chambers. “But this is a whole new level of mentality, new level of physicality, of conditioning, of weight lifting, of intensity. So I always say we'll put the training wheels on and hopefully we'll take them off by the fall.”
Suffering the setback in October, Hampton has used the time since to rehabilitate the knee to the point where the possibility of participation for the 2016-17 season is on the table, said Chambers.
“The injury hurt him a little bit, but he's already eating well, he's already listening to us, he's already doing what he's supposed to do,” said Chambers. “I look for him Summer Session II to be 100 percent, full force.
“I don't want to chance the season either, so I'll make that decision as we go along for six and a half weeks and see where he is, see what Jon Salazer says, what he's comfortable with, listen to our docs and then go from there.”
Highlights from Hampton's 2014-15 season at Oak Hill, below: