Michigan incoming freshman Kameron Chatman, here in 2012 as a member of Long Beach Poly High School, one of 24 prospects trying out for the United States Under-18 men's team. (Louis Lopez / Associated Press)
Kameron Chatman was set to have a busy summer ahead of arriving at Michigan for his freshman season.
The 6-foot-8 forward, scheduled to arrive in Ann Arbor for a summer session next week, was one of 24 prospects trying out for the United States Under-18 men’s team in Colorado Springs, Colo.
“The competition here is no let-up; everybody here is good,” said Chatman, who was not among the 15 finalists. “Being here is going to get me prepared to be at Michigan and be on campus.”
On the bright side, it means that after his senior season in high school and more playing this spring, he gets an additional week to rest and prepare for his first week at Michigan.
“Fatigue kicks in, but that’s just part of basketball,” he said. “If I didn’t want to do this, then I would have stopped playing a long time ago. It’s nothing that ice and an ice bath wouldn’t help.”
Chatman, ranked No. 38 on ESPN’s top 100, is one of six freshmen in Michigan’s incoming class, along with D.J. Wilson, Ricky Doyle, Austin Hatch, Muhammad Ali Abdur-Rahkman and Aubrey Dawkins. All are scheduled to be on campus next week to prepare for Michigan’s European exhibition tour in August.
Coming from the West Coast, Chatman’s had some interaction with Wilson during an Elite Youth Basketball League camp in Sacramento, Calif. The two roomed together and starting to build a bond.
“He’s super-athletic — I would say he’s about 6-10,” Chatman said. “He has a Mohawk, so he might be 6-11. He’ll be a good fit for Michigan; he’s just like me but taller.”
With only Max Bielfeldt and redshirt freshman Mark Donnal returning to the frontcourt, there will be plenty of opportunity for the freshmen, including the 6-10 Doyle, to get playing time and make an impact.
Chatman is projected to play one of the forward spots. And, because he is left-handed, it could provide an advantage on the right side.
“A lot of people ask me about that,” Chatman said. “(Michigan’s) 4 is not the average 4; they run four out and one in. Coach (John) Beilein’s best players are successful and I believe in him, that’s why I chose Michigan.”
Seeing the development of some of Michigan’s young players in recent years and how they contributed early in their careers is part of what attracted Chatman to the Wolverines.
“That’s probably one the main reasons I chose Michigan,” he said. “If you go to Michigan, you’re bound to get better. A perfect example is Nik Stauskas, coming in during his freshman year being a shooter and then the next year maybe being a lottery pick.
“Seeing that development from him and me coming in, I know I can get that same development.”
In preparation for his freshman season, Chatman has bulked up — weighing in at about 211 pounds at the U-18 workouts — and has been doing a workout regimen strength coach Jon Sanderson recommended.
Once all the freshmen arrive, they’ll start learning the system and get to play with the veterans.
The first glance at how all the pieces fit together will be during the trip to Italy in August.