February 4, 2016

Kremer is one to watch

Kevin McCarthy

photo of Kevin Kremer

It's a great feeling when learning about a player who is right on the cusp of becoming a talked about as a desired recruit. Often, the youngster in question doesn't reside in a major metropolitan area, hence the lack of coverage or even knowledge of his existence outside of his hometown area. So meet Kevin Kremer.

The 6-foot-4,190, 16-year-old sophomore out of Pleasant Valley in Chico is averaging 10.4 points, 8.2 rebounds and 2.7 assists in the current season as the Vikings possess a 17-5 overall record, 7-1 in the Eastern Athletic League.

Kremer has been playing basketball a long time—“ever since I can remember”—and comes from a basketball-centric family. His father played high school ball, actually earning most valuable player honors, and it's quite a sight when a contest comes on television. “When we watch games, my Mom gets mad at my Dad for talking during them.” The analysis is actually appreciated -- just not the timing.

Asked what he sees as his best basketball skills, Kremer offered, “Shooting, probably mid-range to the three.” His sports focus used to be divided with football but “I got injured last year and basketball is more fun” so any pigskin participation has been nixed.

Demonstrating the degree of attention he applies to hoops, Kremer related, “in my room on my mirror is a piece of paper and what is written on it is what I should do to get better.”

Damon Whittaker, an assistant coach at Pleasant Valley, sees a fire inside Kremer. "One of Kevin's biggest strength is his competitiveness. He has always been a shooter and is a really talented offensive player but he worked really hard on his ballhandling skills in the off season. As a sophomore coming up to varsity, he found a niche this season. He wants the ball and is always around the ball. So far, we've used him at the wings, at point guard and power forward.”

Whittaker continued, “Kevin needs to develop more explosiveness and become better off the dribble and we're working on those things. He is way under the radar and I don't think we've seen what he can be.” Especially if there is a couple more inches to come in the youngster.

Used to playing up, Kremer played against fifth graders while in second grade. In fact, what he cites as his best basketball moment to date came in sixth grade when going up against seventh graders. “We were on the road up in Paradise and it was close. I was scoring a lot. I saw this mother pointing at me while talking to her son, saying ‘see him, he's the one beating you guys’.”

Academically, it's straight A's, with a couple of B's thus far for Kremer.

According to Whittaker, “College coaches aren't used to consistently seeing players here, not in Chico.” Kremer may not change that perception all by himself but the 2018 prospect will surely be generating an influx of assistant coaches traveling north up Highway 99.