There have been very few that have gotten in the way of the Sunnyslope basketball team in 2013-14. They have not lost to a team from Arizona all season and have been led by a dynamic-duo of senior Michael Humphrey and junior Sammy Barnes-Thompkins.
For Barnes-Thompkins, this is his first season running the show for the Vikings after moving up to the valley from Marana Mountain View High School a season ago. The development he has seen in himself since joining this team has been big.
“It has really helped my development a lot,” Barnes-Thompkins said. “Playing with a guy like Mike (Humphrey), it really helps playing with a big like him and it helps having role players with you that know what know what they can do.”
“Playing with such an advanced team like this really makes it easier,” he added. “I am really thankful that I came to this school and have a good team like this.”
He mentions playing with Stanford commit Michael Humphrey who also happens to be his teammate for AAU basketball. Their experience together even prior to this season has been crucial to the success of Sunnyslope this season.
“We kind of have that twin telepathy right there a little bit,” Barnes-Thompkins mentioned. “Playing with Mike it’s a big advantage because there are not a lot of 6-10 bigs in Arizona that can actually play…Playing with him helps a lot, big time.”
Barnes-Thompkins saw his recruitment pick up tremendously before the start of this season. Over the summer he picked up his first scholarship offer from San Jose State and the attention has only grown from there into his junior season as he leads his team in scoring at 22.5 points per game. Schools from all over the country are reaching out to him and recently was emailed by UC Davis saying that he was a top priority of theirs.
That is all in the future, but up ahead in the present is a run at a state title. Division I is stacked as always but Barnes-Thompkins believes this team has the tools for a great run.
“The sky is the limit for this team,” he stated. “We just have to continue to get more crisp with our offense and continue to execute. If we execute, everything goes right and when we do our own thing, everything gets sloppy. With this team it is just execution and we’ll be fine.”