Cam Whitmore is the No. 1-ranked prospect in the state of Maryland for the class of 2022, but there’s no doubt he had the skill and talent to play almost anywhere.
He racked up more than 20 offers from colleges across the country and had many others knocking on his door. However, throughout his recruitment process, he realized he didn’t want to go too far from the people who have supported him since day one.
“I definitely wanted to go anywhere, but as time went on and the years and months came closer for me to leave for college — I just started to get emotional, a little bit, for my parents,” Whitmore said. “We just have a strong bond, so leaving them if I went far, would hurt them. They would still want to see me, and I would still want to see them.”
As important as family is to Whitmore, he found himself drawn to the Villanova Wildcats. After all, the program preaches and shares the same values of family, brotherhood, and the sense of team camaraderie appealed to him when he took his official visit last month.
“The practice stood out to me the most,” Whitmore said. “They were just linking arms with one another, while coach was talking and giving out instructions. That was pretty cool, and also the practices were pretty intense and competitive. That’s one thing I really liked, just it being competitive and competing.
“When I was looking at it and watching it, it was different from every other practice I went to, everywhere I had been, and everything I had seen from each college — it was just different. I was like, yeah, this is where I want to be.”
He verbally committed on Thursday afternoon, picking the ‘Cats over North Carolina and Illinois.
“It just felt like family, and it was a family type of atmosphere,” Whitmore said. “From just being around the team on and off the court, I just felt the most comfortable there. Plus, it’s not too far from home, so I can go home whenever I want.”
Villanova is getting a high-profile recruit in Whitmore, the latest addition in a 2022 recruiting class that also features four-star prospects Mark Armstrong (South Orange, N.J./St. Peter’s Prep) and Brendan Hausen (Amarillo, Texas/Amarillo).
Whitmore enjoyed a solid junior season at Archbishop Spalding (Md.), where he averaged 22.0 points and 11.7 rebounds per game, and earned Baltimore Catholic League Player of the Year honors.
He was already highly sought after on the recruiting trail, but he followed up on his impressive high school campaign with a great showing at Peach Jam, which elevated his status to a five-star prospect.
The Wildcats officially offered Whitmore in early June, approximately one-and-a-half months before Peach Jam.
“Ever since they offered, the assistant coach, Coach D.A. (Dwayne Anderson) has just been looking out for me and giving me advice,” Whitmore said. “Coach Jay Wright cares a lot about his players and cares a lot about me. Coach D.A. was the same thing. He was just following up on what he was saying and looking out for me outside of basketball.”
In addition to the strong relationships he felt and made, he was also impressed by Villanova’s campus.
“The campus, when you set foot on campus, wow,” Whitmore said. “It’s like castles everywhere, ancient buildings — almost a wonderland you can call it. The campus and practice stood out to me the most.”
As for what the 6-foot-6, 200-pound forward brings to the court, there’s a lot he can do.
“I can facilitate, I know how to make a great decision and I can attack the basket well,” Whitmore said of his strengths. “I can finish above the rim, and I can play defense, too. I’m a shot-blocker. I can shoot the three as well, I got a good stroke on my three.”
Although he still has one more year of high school left, he’s setting big goals for himself and the team once he arrives on campus in the fall of 2022.
“We’re winning the championship in 2023,” Whitmore said of what fans can expect from him.
As for what he’s looking forward to most about being a Wildcat? That’s even more straight-forward.
“Just hooping,” he said. “Hooping with Villanova in front of my chest.”