Kam Roundtree: A Fresh Start in Texas

Kam Roundtree was an Imhotep Panther. He was a backup forward on the historic 2018-19 team that featured no fewer than 5 Division 1 players. Donta Scott (Maryland), Jamil Riggins (Quinnipiac), Chereef Knox (St. Joseph’s/Coppin St./Langston), Dahmir Bishop (Xavier/St. Joseph’s/FGCU) and Elijah Taylor (Notre Dame/Quinnipiac) were the headliners. Roundtree and Fatayn Wesley (Harcum/Rosemont) were very good role players on that dominant nationally ranked team. The following year, Roundtree, Taylor and Sam Wylie were the senior headliners on another strong Panther squad.

Roundtree is a 6’6″ jumping jack… He runs the floor extremely well… He rebounds at a high clip… He can defend 2-5 at the college level when motivated. His offensive game lacks polish, but he is very capable of attacking the rim over or through defenders. In short, he is a definite low to mid major D1 prospect.

Not pleased with his offers upon graduating from Imhotep, Roundtree decided to enroll in Harcum Junior College on the Main Line, located on the outskirts of West Philadelphia. His freshman year (2020-2021) was the COVID year and he did not appear in any games. The following year (2021-2022) Roundtree decided to take some time away from the game for personal reasons and withdrew from school.

Everyone’s path is different…

This summer while working he decided that he wanted to return to school and get back on the court. The problem was he hadn’t really played competitive basketball in two years. He had no film… He had no stats…

The schools that were willing to give him an opportunity were Division 2 and NAIA schools. I pressed him to consider those opportunities.

“I am a Division 1 player Del… I know I can play D1…”

I also believe he can play D1… But I also knew that I couldn’t convince a D1 coach to give a precious scholarship to kid that hadn’t played in two years. Definitely not in the portal era…

We were stuck… Then Roundtree told me he was willing to go to another JUCO to prove he was a D1 player. That opened up some options and I knew just who to call… Scott Monarch.

Scott Monarch, Head Coach Grayson JUCO

Monarch has a long history of giving kids, especially Philly kids, an opportunity to prove they can play at the collegiate level. His best player the past 2 seasons has been Tyrone Williams a 6’5″ shooting guard who played for Jason Lawson at Olney High School. Williams, a relatively unheralded player coming out of Olney has been dominant at Grayson. He averaged 27.7 points per game this season while shooting 50.9 percent from the field. 36.4 percent on threes, and he made 61.7 percent of his free throws. This year Williams had 13 games where he scored 30 or more points, including two games where he scored 41 and 40 points. Williams made a three-pointer in 22 of the 23 games played while also averaging 7.5 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game. On defense, Williams also averaged 2.0 steals per game. William was named the NTJCAC All-Conference Player for the 2021-22 season.

Williams is headed to Oregon on a full basketball scholarship.

Williams’ running mate at Grayson last season was Blumberg’s Samier Kinsler. Kinsler is a 6’2″ North Philly point guard out of West Catholic. He averaged 10.3 ppg while shooting an exceptional 46.8% from behind the 3-point line. He accepted a full scholarship to West Virginia State. Another Philly kid, Aseem Lucky, played one year for Monarch before accepting a full scholarship to D1 Tarleton State where he will play for Billy Gillespie.

Sight unseen… Monarch said, “Del… If he can get eligible, I’ll give him a full scholarship and he can keep his Pell Grant ($6,000).”

“Appreciate you Scott…”

Roundtree needed to earn 4 credits to be eligible.

I made it clear to Roundtree, “Kam if you get the 4 credits, I’ll help you get to Texas and Scott will give you a scholarship. But you have to do the work and earn the credits.”

Kam would call repeatedly offering updates, “I turned in….”

“Kam… I don’t wanna hear that shit… Call me when you have the 4 credits… fuck all that other shit…”

We would repeat this dance several times a week for about a month… Each and every time I would offer the same response…

“Kam… I don’t wanna hear that shit… Call me when you have the 4 credits… fuck all that other shit…”

Then he finally called and said “I got a B.”

Now, I needed to get him a flight and get him to Texas. I leaned on folk that I know care about kids like Kam. I hit up the Philly Pride guys… Howard Hudson, Mike Scott and Amauro Austin… Without hesitation they helped round up enough to get Kam on a plane to Dallas. No Spirit… No Frontier… Out of respect for his “B” we put him on American Airlines.

He landed safely… He’s back in school… On a full scholarship… A fresh start with a clean slate…

Don’t give up… Don’t ever give up.

Everyone’s path is different.

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