For V.J. Beachem an opportunity to compete among the nation's best faltered in comparison to making history and representing his home state. Not by much, mind you, but in the end the New Haven senior-to-be wanted to play for Indiana, not himself.
Beachem was invited on Monday to participate in the 19th annual NBA Top 100 Camp at the University of Virginia next month. However, the dates conflicted with a chance to play for the Indiana Junior All-Star team in a series of games against Kentucky, so he will be bypassing the national event.
“It's a blessing to be able to make that choice,” Beachem said.
Beachem would have joined Northrop High School guard Bryson Scott at the NBA Camp, which serves as a developmental camp for the top seniors in the country. In addition to the on the floor competition, the players are put through a series of classes and lectures by some of the most prevalent names in sports to deliver life lessons.
When he received the invitation, Beachem sat down with his parents (Victor and BerDonna) and weighed the positives and negatives of both events.
“We sat down and talked about it,” Beachem said. “We came to a group decision. We decided on the Indiana Junior All-Stars because it is the first time for that event and the chance to represent my state.”
Despite being a young man, Beachem has already been forced to make several important decisions. He's had to choose which university to accept a scholarship from (Notre Dame), which high school to attend (New Haven) when Harding High School closed, which travel team to compete for and now this latest dilemma.
“Ultimately the decisions come down to me,” Beachem said. “But my parents usually have good ideas and I listen to them.”
The Indiana Junior All-Stars will play their counterparts from Kentucky on June 15 at Heritage Christian High School in Indianapolis and the following day at a yet to be determined school in the Louisville area.
Beachem will also play for the Junior All-Stars earlier that month, as they play a pair of exhibition games against the Indiana All-Star seniors. The first of those games will be at Seymour High School June 4; followed by another at Pendleton Heights High School on June 6 (Scott will also compete in this game).
Beachem wraps up his junior year today at New Haven and will begin his busy summer of basketball in Chicago this weekend at the Best Buy Classic.