Our mission here at KCPREPHOOPS is to promote the quality players and teams in the Greater KC and Wichita areas, and position our hoops on a national level where it belongs. As coaches and major college programs begin to wake-up to the talent level in our area, we want to make sure to highlight successes players are having at top levels.
In Kansas City, Blue Valley West High School has produced two notable examples in recent years with players who probably did not get their due nationally in high school but who have produced in major college programs. Texas Tech junior Robert Lewandowski and Nebraska sophomore Brandon Ubel both played for Donnie Campbell’s Jags in Overland Park, KS and both were not only top players but also top students.
Brandon Ubel averaged over 17 points and 7 rebounds in his senior year at BV West and was named first team all-state. He definitely received some attention from programs at the mid-major level, but many locally felt he was better than how the national scouts rated him. The Huskers, though, paid attention to KC and got themselves a tough inside presence who could immediately play in the Big 12. In his freshman season at Nebraska, the 6’10” PF played quality minutes in averaging over 4PPG and 2RPG in only 15 minutes per game. His finest freshman moment may have been in Lawrence where he scored twice late to push the #1 Jayhawks to the brink, but he also scored 14 points in a head-to-head match-up with Lewandowski and Texas Tech three weeks later. In 2010, Ubel has started in five games, is averaging 7 and 4 and shooting 57% from the field, including 10 points against Vanderbilt and 9 rebounds vs. Davidson. From all indications, he will continue to improve on a Husker team that is very young and has promise to be better over the next several years.
6’10” P Robert Lewandowski was a two-time all-stater at BV West and helped lead the team to the 2007 Kansas state championship with 20 points in the finals. He has been a solid contributor in both his freshman and sophomore seasons at Texas Tech, including big games against Texas A&M (20 points), Oklahoma State (double/double) and Seton Hall (7 & 10). Lewandowski was named to the All Big 12 Academic second team and has been recognized for his character by both the Big 12 and Community of Champions. In 2010, Lewandowski has started all eight games and leads the team in rebounds, blocks and free throw percentage. He is third in scoring with just over 12PPG and is currently the Big 12 leader in FG percentage. Coach Pat Knight has consistently praised him as a key part of the team’s early success and as an overall contributor to team chemistry.
West’s Donnie Campbell remembers the two with what he characterizes as a big smile. “Two examples of great student-athletes and a joy to coach,” said Coach Campbell. “When I think of those two young men, I think of two kids who worked hard for what was best for the team. I am very proud of both of them.”
As we noted in our September article there are many KC prep stars who are making an impact at the college level. From more visible players such as Marcus Denmon (Missouri) and Alec Burks (Colorado) to lesser known successes such as Clinton Mann (Davidson), Kyle Weems & Adam Leonard (Missouri State) and Justin Hurtt (Tulsa), we play at a high level in our cities and we produce talent that is impacting programs across the country.