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High Schools

Chad Ryan | The Journal Gazette
James Blackmon Jr. brings the basketball up court during the Spiece Run-N-Slam tournament.
Spiece notebook

Blackmons see Marion move as ‘great opportunity’

– James Blackmon Sr. knows he is asking a lot of his sons – especially senior-to-be James Jr. – to leave Bishop Luers and start anew at Marion this fall.

He also sees it as an opportunity for his sons, James and Vijay, to grow.

“I think it’s going to be an adjustment. You’re talking about going from 2A to 4A – that’s an adjustment within itself,” Blackmon Sr. said. “You mature as a person, as a player. I think it’s going to make preparation for college because you’re going to a new environment; you still have to be focused.”

James Blackmon Jr., who is committed to Indiana, said he is excited for the change and to be playing in a gym that seated 6,000 fans screaming for his dad in its heyday.

“My dad thinks it will be a great opportunity,” Blackmon Jr. said. “He’s always put me and my brother in the best situation.”

Vijay Blackmon, a sophomore-to-be who sports an IU offer and interest from Notre Dame and Purdue, also trusts his father’s judgment.

“I’m very excited,” he said. “It’s a good opportunity for my family. I’ll be ready when the time comes.”

Standing tall at 5-10

PJ Thompson has plenty of mid-major interest and has had Purdue on his trail since eighth grade. The 5-foot-10, 155-pound guard has always been held back from high-major offers by his size.

That might no longer be the case.

Thompson, an Indianapolis Brebeuf senior-to-be and member of the Spiece Indy Heat 17-and-under team, put together strong stretches throughout the Run-n-Slam tournament and showed that his height doesn’t limit to his abilities.

Thompson helped to lead a team that features Trey Lyles, JaQuan Lyle, Trevon Bluiett and James Blackmon Jr. – all players with interest from big schools and who are regarded as some of the best in the nation in the class of 2014.

“Playing with all these guys that are highly ranked and still being able to take on that leadership role and still make them better,” Thompson said. “I think that might give me a few high-major offers.”

The Boilermakers might be on that list, Thompson said. Purdue assistant coach Jack Owens told the diminutive guard that Purdue has changed its recruiting plan for 2014 and wants to add a point guard to complement Bryson Scott, a Northrop senior, and current Boiler Ronnie Johnson.

“At first, I was surprised by that, but they said we all bring different things to the table,” Thompson said. “The Big Ten is probably one of the best, if not the best conference in the country. It’d be a blessing to play in that.”