Even in a gym full of top prospects, Brandon Huntley-Hatfield consistently seems to stand out. There aren't many players with his package of strength, athleticism, shooting, ball handling and passing ability. At 6’9 with impressive length, Huntley-Hatfield projects as someone who'll immediately be able to adjust to the physicality of college basketball. He thrives in transition, rim running, making great outlet passes, and finishing through contact.
He also has the ability to make kick outs to open shooters when double-teamed, or even take a few dribbles to get himself a look around the basket. While he is working on his consistency as a shooter, his shot is compact and certainly passes the eye test. Defensively, Huntley-Hatfield brings versatility: he provides rim protection, moves his feet well in space and puts pressure on opponents when the ball is in his vicinity.
Currently at Scotland Campus (PA), he spent time at IMG Academy (FL) where he really came into his own and rose up the rankings within the 2022 high school class. With his college decision looming, his finalists include Auburn, Kansas, Ole Miss, Tennessee, Wake Forest and he recently added Syracuse to the mix as well. Whenever and wherever he decides to enroll, the program will be getting a big man with a college-ready body and ability to be a match-up nightmare at the NCAA level.
In this interview, Brandon Huntley-Hatfield dives into his background, what he is doing to stand out as a player, important aspects in his college decision, his adjustment to a new school during the time of COVID-19, his basketball influences, and more.
For the next installment of the Pro Insight Q&A series, we present 2022 prospect Brandon Huntley-Hatfield, from Clarksville, Tennessee:
Pro Insight: Tell us a bit about your background.
Brandon Huntley-Hatfield: I’m from Clarksville, Tennessee. It’s a small town about 45 minutes outside of Nashville and about four hours from Memphis. I have two younger sisters, one younger brother, and one older brother who is like 26 or 27 years old. My younger brother is 17 years old and my sisters are five and six years old.
PI: Any of them play sports?
BHH: My younger brother plays varsity at his high school and my older brother used to play at the University of Chattanooga, but he decided to stop after he got a concussion.
PI: Did you ever play any other sports?
BHH: I played football, but I stopped because I’m not too good with the cold. I did football, tee-ball, and basketball. Obviously basketball is what I love so I just put down the other stuff. Football wasn’t really my thing because of the weather and stuff, but I played those other two sports aside from basketball.
PI: What position did you play in football?
BHH: I was a QB, WR, and DE.
PI: When did you stop?
BHH: I stopped in like middle school or elementary school and I started focusing more on basketball around my seventh grade year of middle school.
PI: Are you training with anybody right now?
BHH: Yeah, before I came to this event (*note: interview was conducted at WCE Elite 100 in Phoenix, AZ) I was at school. I’ve been there since August, just grinding and getting better. After this I’m going to go back to Knoxville to train with my coach and AAU program.
PI: What are your strengths as a player?
BHH: I feel like one of my biggest strengths is my passing. I feel like it’s really underrated for a guy my size, you don’t see too many guys passing the ball to try and get their teammates involved. I feel like my passing is underrated, but people know that I can score the ball, shoot the ball from mid-range and the 3, and get inside, but I feel like passing is my best ability.
PI: What are some things you’re working on?
BHH: Getting in shape, that’s my biggest thing right now. Being able to play on both ends of the floor without huffing and puffing. Being able to rebound and go guard anybody, score on anybody, and help my team win.
PI: What are you doing right now to get yourself in shape? What’s your routine?
BHH: I’m about to start eating more salads and I’m about to start running a lot every single day. And drink water, I still only drink water, but drinking more water every single day. Start running, get on the treadmill and start changing my diet.
PI: How long has it been since you last played?
BHH: Since I’ve been at school we’ve been training and whatnot. We just started our season and we haven’t lost a game. My last camp was probably like USA basketball or something like that, I don’t know, I haven’t been to a camp in a long time. Other than that I’ve been at school grinding. We had the bubble where we couldn’t leave campus because of COVID. That’s what I’ve been up to, just training.
PI: What are some more underrated aspects of your game?
BHH: I feel like outta everyone in the country I have a unique skill-set. You don’t really see too many guys like 6’9” or 6’10” dribbling or scoring the ball. I feel like everyone can score the ball, so I need that one factor that will separate me from the pack and that’s where I put emphasis on my passing vision and IQ. Everyone can score the ball, but you need something that is going to separate you from everybody else.
PI: What’s the update with your recruitment?
BHH: I’m currently down to five schools; Ole Miss, Kansas, Tennessee, Wake Forest, and Auburn. I cut it down to those five and I’m really looking forward to getting back up to visit campuses when that opens back up in April, 2021. I’ve been in constant communication with all of the college coaches and stuff, so it’s been really good.
PI: Any schools pursuing you more aggressively than others?
BHH: Coach Kermit at Ole Miss. They’ve always been there ever since I was a freshman. They’ve been on me constantly, always texting me. Keeping that contact, always.
PI: What are you looking for in a school of choice?
BHH: I’m really looking for a family-oriented school, for security and being able to be comfortable. Also knowing that you’re not always going to be in a situation where you’re always comfortable, but I’ve always been uncomfortable since I’ve been playing. I’m really just looking forward to getting where I don’t have to look over my shoulder every day, I can just play my game, but also knowing that when I come in nothing is guaranteed. Just because I’m a ‘five-star’ that doesn’t mean anything. So really just competing every day and fighting for my spot.
PI: What was your experience like at IMG? Why did you decide to transfer to Scotland Prep?
BHH: It’s been good, I made the decision to transfer this summer. I just feel like it was the right decision for me and my family to move forward and look for a different situation. Obviously I love IMG and love everyone there, but it wasn’t for me. I was looking for a situation where the coaches trust me and understand what I can do and they’re going to let me play through mistakes and play hard all of the time.
PI: What type of system best fits your playing style?
BHH: I like to play fast. I like to get out and run, but obviously I need to get my stamina up to do that. I love playing fast, I don’t like playing slow. So really like a run-and-gun type of team where we can go out and get dunks, space the floor, and just play basketball.
PI: Any players you model your game after?
BHH: I look at a lot of Kevin Durant and Anthony Davis. Just trying to get the KD feel around the perimeter being like a 6’11” guard who is dribbling the ball against 6’2” guards, but also trying to be like AD where I can get that mid-range and inside game.
PI: Outside of basketball what are your biggest interests?
BHH: Netflix, eating food, music, and I love sleeping. Looking at motivational videos to keep my mentality right. I deal with the pressure of being a top player, so really just looking at videos with how to cope with that stuff. But really just food, netflix, and just rest….I’m a homebody.
PI: Having been a highly-touted prospect from such a young age, how have you dealt with the spotlight thus far?
BHH: Recognizing that I’m under the microscope unlike some high schoolers who would kill to be in my position. Also doing the right things and trying to stay grounded. I have a good support system around me; my coach Bobby, and my family. So just having that support system around me to keep me grounded and know that I can’t post what everyone else can, I can’t post whatever I want. I’m staying under the radar because you don’t want to have a bad image already coming out of high school, so I’m not trying to do too much, just be who I am and try to stay grounded. I’ve been really good at that because growing up I wasn’t looked at as much as I am now so it doesn’t really change anything for me. It’s just I recognize that I can’t put anything out there.
PI: Is that something you had to grow into as a person? Are you more of an introvert or extrovert?
BHH: I’m more of an introvert, but growing up seeing the top players and stuff, like I grew up watching IMG, everything I have now I’ve always wanted...but now that I’ve got it I didn’t know what all it would come with. So like now I’m still dealing with all that stuff. Being in the limelight is what I always wanted, but I’m not the type of person who is going to tarnish my name. Even though I’m in the limelight I’m not the type of person where I’m going to do something wrong. I know right from wrong, I was raised by a great mom and father. I’ve always wanted the limelight because I knew I could be in the limelight and do the right thing.
PI: What rating would you give yourself in 2K?
BHH: I’d probably give myself like an 80. I’m not going to fabricate. I feel like yes I’m one of the best high school players, but I also know that there’s always room for improvement everywhere. I’m going to keep myself grounded and not get too big-headed because I’m not there yet and I haven’t really done anything. So really just being who I am and staying true to myself, that’s really it.
PI: What are four words that describe you?
BHH: Funny. Courageous. Charismatic. Chill.