Like many high school kids, Harker Heights’ C.J. Bobbitt is using the summer between his junior and senior years to travel and begin looking for colleges.
Except many of the schools are coming to him.
Bobbitt is spending the summer playing for the Texas D1 Ambassadors-Carlton club team in hopes of getting his name out there and getting attention from college coaches.
“This was my make-it-or-break-it summer,” Bobbitt said. “I had to make sure to buckle down and get ready for this summer.”
The Ambassadors have been around for more than a decade. The competitive youth basketball program aims to develop and showcase players and assist them in gaining exposure to receive a spot on a college team.
Bobbitt played for a Nike club team last summer, but saw the Ambassadors as a better opportunity in 2014.
“It was good exposure, but now on the Ambassadors, I’m on the main court every time we play,” Bobbitt said. “It’s pretty much all eyes on my team and me. It’s a lot more exposure. “
As a junior, Bobbitt helped the Knights win the District 8-5A championship and make it to the Class 5A Sweet 16 before falling to No. 2 DeSoto.
He was an all-district first-team selection and, after taking two weeks off from basketball, Bobbitt got back on the court.
As a member of the Knights, he is accustomed to taking on Copperas Cove’s Rashard Odomes and Ellison’s Malik Malone in heated district matchups, but as an Ambassador, he calls those two teammates.
Bobbitt said there is no district rivalry on the club team, but he hopes playing with them will give him an edge.
“It doesn’t really bother me to play with them and it’s also helping me out on the court,” Bobbitt said. “I kind of get to see their tendencies and what they’re doing so it helps me when district comes around.
Ambassador alumni include Texas guard Javan Felix and Baylor forward Rico Gathers. Bobbitt hopes to join the ranks of those and other local standouts to join NCAA Division I teams.
He said though the atmosphere is a lot more laid back than on the high school team, the talent level is also higher.
“You really can’t make a play for just one person so you just have to throw the ball out there,” Bobbitt said. “It’s like a motion (offense where) you just set screens pretty much.”
Recent Heights graduates Josh and Cameron DeLaney along with current Knights teammate Roderick Taylor were on the Ambassadors last season.
Cameron will play for the University of Denver while Josh is going to play collegiately at Sam Houston State.
“Josh, Cameron and Roderick weren’t really getting recruited and then they started playing with them (Ambassadors), they started gettina lot more looks,” Bobbitt said. “It was all on the main court so even if they were losing, they were still getting the exposure they needed.”
Contact Albert Alvarado at email@example.com