Top recruits hoop it up in summer

By Brandon Speck/NEMS Daily Journal

FULTON – Ashton Shumpert has four stars beside his name and is being sought by some of the biggest names in college football.
Before he begins his senior season on the field, though, Shumpert is spending the summer on the Itawamba AHS basketball team.
For many top recruits, the fear of getting hurt keeps them away from other sports. Not Shumpert.
“I play hard but try not to give myself a chance to get hurt,” Shumpert said after the first of two summer games at Itawamba CC on Thursday.
Shumpert is back at IAHS after spending his sophomore and junior seasons at Tupelo High School. He started as a freshman in Fulton.
He had already attended a basketball tryout before former Hamilton coach Devin Hill was hired at IAHS and attended Hill’s tryout as well.
“Ashton doesn’t have but one speed,” said Hill. “Sometimes I have to take him out. I would never do anything to risk getting him injured.”
Hooping it up
Like Shumpert, Amory receiver Dario Robinson and Houston defensive end Chris Jones, a Mississippi State commit, are playing summer ball.
All three will be back on the court after football season.
“They’re going to play in the park or in the driveway. Kids who enjoy sports are going to play. It might as well be in a setting that’s organized,” IAHS football coach Toby Collums said. “I know Coach Hill is going to take care of him.”
Robinson has a pair of offers, UT Martin’s offer this week to go along with an offer from South Alabama. Ole Miss and Mississippi State have also shown interest.
He was known more for his basketball before leading the state last season in yards, catches and touchdowns.
“I don’t even think about injuries, don’t think negative,” said Robinson, would hasn’t eliminated playing both sports at the college level if given the opportunity.
As for where he’ll take his game, Shumpert isn’t in a hurry. The running back lists six offers, Alabama, Oklahoma State, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Georgia and Vanderbilt.
“The process has been very interesting. I’m going as slow as possible right now,” Shumpert said, then smiled. “I’ll probably make my decision, if not during the season, right after.”
brandon.speck@journalinc.com