As part of the past summer AAU season, 16U Vegas Elite (NV) participated in the Tip of the Hat Hoops’ Las Vegas Basketball Royalty showcase at Bishop Gorman High School. Pro Insight was on hand to evaluate the event and caught up with Angelo Kambala of Vegas Elite. A former Coronado (NV) prospect who’ll be at Liberty (NV) for his junior year, Kambala is a high basketball IQ guard who brings leadership, perimeter shooting and a plus-motor.
As part of the Pro Insight Q&A series, Kambala talked about his basketball background, his recruitment update, his role model, and more.
For the next installment of the Pro Insight Q&A series, we present 2023 prospect Angelo Kambala, from Henderson, Nevada:
Pro Insight: What did you get out of this weekend at Las Vegas Basketball Royalty?
Angelo Kambala: Out of this weekend, I think my team and I did really well. We’re bonding more, not being able to play since COVID so it’s been more of a learning curve and just getting ready overall for the rest of the summer. So it’s just been a good learning curve.
PI: Talk a bit about your background. How did you get into basketball?
AK: I’ve been growing up in a basketball family. My brother went to Bishop Gorman. My biological father and my step-father both have played pro basketball around the world. It’s just always been in my household, like that orange ball in my hands since I could walk. So it’s just a good thing and it’s just a really fun game. It’s a beautiful thing, like art, so it's really fun to do.
PI: What do you like about basketball? What motivates you to play?
AK: Not more of a specific thing, it’s just this little orange ball can take you anywhere in the world. I can be in America right now and then a couple years from now sign a contract in France and be in one of the most beautiful places in the world. It’s just so crazy that one little thing can change your whole life so it’s more of the life-changing aspect of basketball that I love about the game.
PI: With COVID essentially wiping out AAU in 2020, what were you eager to show coaches this summer?
AK: To show coaches that I’m more of a leader, being more vocal on the offensive and defensive side of everything. And just being a player that coaches want on their team even if it’s not on the floor, just being a motivational guy, helping everybody out with everything. And then with COVID, I was just doing workouts at home, stuff like that. It’s time to see who’s going to really come out and who’s really been working, and not just posting stuff on social media.
PI: For those who aren’t familiar with your game, describe your strengths and play style.
AK: A lot of people have given me a resemblance of Trae Young. I can shoot. I’m really good off the catch-and-shoot. One-dribble pull-up. I like to make plays for my teammates, get them involved first. And then the defense forgets about you once you get everybody else involved. So just everything like that, just team-first for me always...doesn’t matter if I have three points or 30 points. As long as I see that we’re winning at the end of the day, it’s a more beautiful thing for me. So I think that’s probably one of the best things that I do for our team and how we play.
PI: Is there a specific position you define yourself as?
AK: Not really. Whatever the coach needs me to do, I’ll do it. If that means guarding a seven-footer when playing five guards, I’ll do it. It won’t be easy, but I’m gonna do it because nowadays in basketball, there’s seven-foot point guards so you gotta get used to that type of stuff.
PI: What are your current measurements?
AK: I don’t know my wingspan. My height is around 6’0 and my weight is 160 pounds.
PI: What are your biggest interests outside of basketball?
AK: I play video games, sometimes. I’m a 2K guy but really just like listening to music, just designing stuff, just anything that can take up time. Cards. It’s always good to have other outlets besides basketball cause this ball will stop bouncing eventually. So it’s just good to always have an outlet to do something.
PI: What do you mean by ‘design’?
AK: Photography stuff. I want to get into photography because all the people who do all that camera work, it’s like the most amazing and beautiful thing to watch. Like they can take a couple clips and just change it, and it just changes the outcome of what someone looks when they play. It’s really interesting to watch.
PI: What’s your recruitment update?
AK: Right now, I have one offer from Houston Baptist University and then some interest. I have Virginia, Virginia Tech, Gonzaga, Arizona State, Tennessee, Washington, Illinois, UC Irvine, NAU, TCU, UC Riverside, and SUU. I’m also getting recruited heavily by Dixie State right now. I’m not really worried about the whole offers thing, because I know eventually, it will be good in the end. So I ain’t really worried about that type of stuff.
PI: Name four words that best describe you.
AK: Oh man, four words... I don’t even know. I will use fighter, winner. Just fight and win, because I don’t care what that score is. To me, it’s always going to be 0-0. We can be down 20 and I’m still going to play the same because, at the end of the day, it’s all about hustle and heart. Actually those are my four. Fight, win, hustle, and heart.
PI: Who’s someone you view as a role model?
AK: My mom. My mom, of course. She raised two of us and she’s always learning a different way to make money, making my childhood so much better. I ask for something for Christmas — I don’t know if we have the money or not to get it — next thing I know, it’s underneath the Christmas tree. My mom is my biggest inspiration. She always does everything for me and I love her so much for that. She gave me the childhood that I always wanted so I’m very thankful and grateful for that.
PI: At the end of the day, what do you hope to be remembered for?
AK: At the end of the day, I want to be remembered as a teammate that you can just count on on-and-off the court. Even if that means “ahh, you didn’t play well, let’s stay after and get shots up.” Just being a friend on and off the court, as much as people don’t like the word “friend” in basketball. Just like helping each other out as a team, not just as an individual. Yeah that’s it.