by Jeremy Bauman / @JBauman13
When combo guard Kelvin Amayo committed to Towson University on May 9, recently appointed head coach Pat Skerry secured his first commitment since he took over struggling Tigers basketball program. Just a year removed from a 4-26 (2-12 in CAA play) season, the Tigers appear to, at the very least, be showing a pulse on the recruiting trail with this commitment.
This past season at NIA Prep, Amayo averaged 20 points, 6 boards, 5 assists and 2 steals per contest while leading his squad to a No. 6 national ranking among prep schools. Though Amayo had interest from larger programs and other mid-majors around the country, he decided to accept the challenge of building a basketball tradition at Towson and being the face of the program.
SLAM: What triggered your commitment? Why did you commit to Towson?
Kelvin Amayo: After I came back from College of Charleston and I had a brief conversation with Alif Muhammad, who runs NIA Prep and he told me it’s about that time to make a decision and I thought to myself, Towson would be the best fit for me because I’ll be the face of the program and I’ll come here and surprise everybody. It doesn’t matter what school you go to if you’re a pro. They’re gonna find you and that’s why I choose Towson University.
SLAM: What did you go through to get this point? How did your previous experiences help you to get to this point?
KA: Help on and off the court and being around good players just made me have to stay on point. If it wasn’t for a couple people in my life, I wouldn’t be doing this interview and I really appreciate them.
I went through a lot to get to get this point. People don’t understand I came from nowhere to be somebody in this game—and I still have along way to go—but I’m still thriving to be the best I can be. I had to deal with people making stories about me that weren’t true that tried to make me look bad. They don’t know I woke up for three months straight at 5:30 a.m. because somebody told me I wouldn’t amount to nothing and it made me work the hardest I could. To this day when I get to the gym I think about him.
SLAM: What do you think will be different from high school to college?
KA: High school if you didn’t have good people behind you, then you didn’t do certain things. In college I’m gonna have to earn everything that is given to me. In high school there are a few really good players that have names but in college everybody is a good player and you cant just go through the motions like you do in high school.
SLAM: Towson is a place that not many people know about in terms of basketball… How are you going to turn ball into a powerhouse while your there?
KA: I’ve already tuned people into the program because I’m going there. I just have to help everybody on my team have a different mindset because I always came from winning programs. If they see me working hard and then they have no excuse to just go through the motions. Coming to the program will give the school a different aura, and before I leave Towson we’re gonna be a powerhouse. You can mark my words.
SLAM: What aspects of your game do you have to work on to kill it at the next level?
KA: I can shoot now but if I can become more consistent, nobody in college basketball will be able to “D” me. I’m gonna be ahead of a lot of freshman coming in because I’m already battle tested and playing in prep school for two years helped me a lot. I create for others, I can score in a variety of ways, and I just play my game.
SLAM: People probably don’t think a kid from Towson can make it to the L. What do you have to say to them in advance?
KA: If they think that, then they are just hypocrites because if you are a pro it doesn’t matter where you go because they’re gonna find you. If people don’t realize that then they don’t know this game.