Khadeem Lattin (Houston/Canaris Basketball Academy) is blazing a path for himself to college basketball that is non-traditional.
The grandson of David Lattin -- one of the famed players from Texas Western -- made the decision as a sophomore to change his developmental path by heading overseas. His destination was Canaris Basketball Academy in Spain, located off the coast of Morocco. When Lattin made the move, it was questioned, scrutinized and caught many by surprise.
This spring, he’s back in the United States playing with his travel team, Houston Hoops. We caught up with him in Dallas at the Nike EYBL where he talked about his experience and whether or not he’ll go back for another season.
DT: What was it like?
KL: “It was a unique experience, being away from my family. My parents were only there the first two months, so it made me grow up fast and learn stuff about myself. I grew as a basketball player and as a person.”
DT: Would you go back?
KL: “It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life and definitely one of the hardest things I’ll ever do in my life. Most likely I’ll be going back.”
DT: What was school like?
KL: “I’m in the British school system, which means we do what you do in the American school system, but the ages are different each year.”
DT: Basketball-wise, what was good about it?
KL: “It’s like being in the military. It’s routine. It’s wake up at five, school, workout, conditioning, and workout again. That’s one day, but it’s everyday, except for Sundays.”
DT: How many games did you play?
KL: “When I got there we were just starting the season. We played maybe two games a week. There, you don’t have a high school team. You have more of a club team that partners with the high school team.”
DT: How much older was the competition?
KL: “Most of the guys had me by two or three years. When we played really good teams they had me by four. I was playing men.”
DT: Have you made the adjustment back to AAU ball?
KL: “When I left [the U.S.] I was playing a much faster game. When I went to play European basketball, I was definitely pulling back more skill-wise. Now, I have to get used to [AAU ball again] because I’m still bouncing back from the slower game.
"With a team that’s as guard heavy as [Houston Hoops], with all the superstars and this being only my second time with the team … of course there’s frustration when I’m sitting on the bench but it’s something I have to mature to and find my spot on the team and play more minutes and stuff.”
DT: Why did you go to Canaris?
KL: “We went to kind of give me a shortcut to being better. There, it’s very routine with good solid workouts and conditioning to where it’s almost pass-out workouts. The coach is insane, he pushes us to our limits every time we touch the floor.”
DT: Did schools come to see you?
KL: “A few schools came over, but not just to look at me. LSU, Florida, St. Mary’s, Portland and a few schools. I’ve been talking to Georgetown.”
DT: Who is recruiting you the hardest?
KL: “Arizona. Because my situation being that I left, I could be bumped up a year. Arizona’s pretty much said that whether I’m 2013 or 2014 they’ll give me a scholarship.”
DT: Are you Class of 2013?
KL: “I’m not too sure. My parents and I are still deciding about it but we’ve got that leeway because of the academics there. I could graduate in 2013 because of the school system I’d have all my American high school credits but if I wanted to stay in the English school system then I could do an extra year and be 2014 and still only be playing four years. We’re still deciding on what we want to do.”
DT: If you could rewind the clock, would you do it again?
KL: “Definitely. I’ve grown so much. It’s got me in a state of mind that I could be fine wherever I go and whoever is coaching me.”