Kemp Has Eye of The Tiger

Willie Kemp (D.McQuiston)

It's over. Willie Kemp is staying close to home. Very close to home as the No. 39 prospect in America will be a Tiger.

After 24 hours of solid recruiting speculation, Willie Kemp, Bolivar Central's star point guard, committed to the University of Memphis over Tennessee (runner-up), Kentucky and Arkansas.

"I was close to all four schools," Kemp said. "It just came down to Memphis and Tennessee. I just think I can get a college degree and be real successful and win a national championship."

Central Coach Dave Rudesill said that Kemp liked the situations at all four schools but in the end, the Tigers had homecourt advantage.

"All four schools were great. He could see himself at any of them but with Memphis being right here in his backyard, it makes sense not to go any farther. The distance played a big role in it."

In picking Memphis, Scout.com's No. 39 prospect also separated himself from his AAU and high school teammate Wayne Chism, who earlier this fall committed to Tennessee.

"It's very hard," Kemp said of leaving his wing man. "Me and Wayne have become great friends but there's no hard feelings. It was an honor to be recruited by Coach Pearl. I just think I'll do better at the University of Memphis."

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