Shawnee Conner Frankamp signed autographs for a handful of Kansas University basketball fans before Kansas City Pump N Run’s opening game of the KC Prep Invitational on Thursday night at Mid America Sports Complex West.
The 6-foot-1 Wichita North junior combo guard, who orally committed to KU on July 16, had those same spectators applauding after scoring a game-high 20 points — two off a game-winning 14-foot jumper with :03 left — in Pump N Run’s 55-53 AAU victory over Team Illinois.
“I felt a lot of KU fans came out, and that was really good. I was excited about that,” said Frankamp, equally excited that his pivotal pull-up jumper busted a 53-all tie.
“I like to have the ball in my hands at the end of the game. Make or miss, I still want to have the ball in my hands. It was good to hit the game-winner, but also good to win and start off the tournament right.”
Frankamp, who hit five threes, finished 7-of-11 from the field and 1-of-2 from the free throw line.
“I’m always feeling good coming into the game. I’m going to keep working hard and keep shooting,” said Frankamp, who won MVP honors for 16 and under champion Pump N Run at last week’s adidas Super 64 tournament in Las Vegas.
“I feel my pull-up game is as good as my three-point game. I had a lot of open threes tonight and shot those when I had the opportunity.”
He was just as impressed with his teammates, including Travis Jorgenson, a 5-11 junior from Rock Bridge High in Columbia, Mo., who scored 10 points, including four straight down the stretch.
“He’s good, real good,” Frankamp said of Jorgenson.
Jorgenson — his two free throws helped settle down Pump N Run after Illinois had erased a nine-point deficit — also thrives during crunch time.
“I think we try to get others involved. When we need to step up, we kind of do, especially Conner,” Jorgenson said. “His role being a scorer, he can score whenever he wants to.
“I mean there comes a time at the end of the game you kind of need to step up. I think Conner and I did that. Conner is one of the best in the nation, there’s no doubt about it. You can see why he’s going to Kansas. He can flat out score. He is a competitor.”
As far as his own recruitment, Jorgenson provided a current list of “Virginia, Boston College, Creighton, Kansas State, Missouri State and some others.”
Of possible interest from KU, he said: “We haven’t heard much from them or Missouri.”
The Pump N Run 16-and-under team is playing in the 17-and-under division. The squad will play at 11:30 a.m. today.
McGary’s squad loses: Mitch McGary, a 6-10 senior center from Brewster Academy in Wolfeboro, N.H., scored 14 points and grabbed five rebounds in SYF’s 68-62 loss to Iowa’s Kingdom Hoops, a team coached by former Iowa State player Jake Sullivan.
College head coaches Mike Krzyzewski (Duke), John Calipari (Kentucky), Bob Huggins (West Virginia) and John Beilein (Michigan) attended the game as well as former KU assistant Steve Robinson of North Carolina and ex-Jayhawk Steve Woodberry of Missouri State.
No KU coaches watched that game, leading many to speculate the Jayhawks were in Los Angeles watching 7-footer Kaleb Tarczewski, Rivals.com’s No. 12-rated prospect who has a final list of KU, Arizona, North Carolina and Kentucky.
McGary, who starred at the Jayhawk Invitational last April at Haskell, had a tough outing.
He hit five of 13 shots and received a technical foul for jumping up and hanging on the rim during a stoppage in play. McGary declined to be interviewed after the game.