Cambridge brothers look to boost Arizona State basketball team

Desmond and Devan Cambridge had gone out to dinner with their father, Desmond Sr., and the Arizona State basketball team, including head coach Bobby Hurley during a recruiting trip to Tempe in the spring. The basketball-playing brothers were looking for a landing spot after leaving their respective Division I colleges and ASU topped their list.

During dinner, Desmond received a text from another trainer, Hurley’s brother Dan, who is in Connecticut. Desmond didn’t want to be disrespectful and take a call from another coach as he met another suitor at the time, the irony of being recruited by the brothers didn’t even really hit him.

“Yeah, he had actually texted me while we were out to dinner the first night. I showed one of the assistant coaches, listen, that’s the UConn coach. That’s how I had his name. He was like Coach Hurley? I said, no, Coach Hurley is right here. What do you mean? He was like, no, he has a brother. That was the first time I realized he had a brother who coached another team.

All had a good laugh from the exchange.

“Yeah, it’s a fierce business. The family is going out the window, right?” Hurley laughed when Desmond told the story earlier this week on Pac-12 Media Day.

The Cambridge brothers have indeed chosen ASU and hope to energize the new edition of the Sun Devils who will take to the court for the first time at 5 p.m. Monday against Tarleton State at the Desert Financial Arena.

Desmond, a 6-foot-4, 180-pound, traded from Nevada where he averaged 16.2 points and 5.1 rebounds in 30 games, numbers that earned him All-Mountain West honors. His career actually started at Brown, with Desmond calling himself a “book nerd.” He transferred after two years there to play against better competition.

Devan, a 6-foot-6, 215-pounder, came from Auburn where he averaged 5.3 points and 3.6 rebounds in 33 games, 14 of which he started. His trademark is his athleticism.

It will be the first time the two have played together, even though they are not that far apart. They played in different high schools and when it came time to go to college, the chance never really presented itself, with different schools recruiting each of them.

But they made no secret of their plans to dress together once they reached the transfer gate. Devan was the driving force behind this decision. While the brothers hail from Nashville, ASU was no unknown commodity as Devan had played his senior year of high school basketball here at Hillcrest Prep after bouncing around in other prep basketball programs. the previous years.

“I didn’t really give it a choice. It was kind of a home for me because I went to Hillcrest, so I felt comfortable. I already knew the area and the people here,” said Devan.

“We were in the portal for a short time. He didn’t really give me a choice,” Desmond added. “I was also talking to Ole Miss and Arkansas, but we let everyone know my brother and I want to play together, what do you think about that?”

Both come from a large family of basketball players. Their father played at Alabama A&M from 1998 to 2002 and is their toughest critic, in a good way.

“I’ve always been honest with them,” said Desmond Sr., who averaged 5.5 steals per game as a senior during his playing days. “And I’m not one of those people who thinks everyone gets a trophy for participating. I’ll always let them know what I think because I want them to improve:”

Older brother Jalon, the eldest of seven siblings, played at NAIA Fisk University and moved with his two brothers to Arizona.

The youngest of the brood, Jasiah is an eighth grader who plays for a team coached by his father.

The women in the family are also athletes. Jordyn Cambridge is a Vanderbilt graduate student who led the country in steals last season. No, the apple didn’t fall far from the tree.

Kennedy is a true freshman in one of the country’s basketball blue bloods – Kentucky.

Although there can usually be a lot of talk between brothers, the two Sun Devils agree on the best basketball player in the family and this is not one of them. That would be Jaloni, a 16-year-old junior from Ensworth High School in Nashville who is the No. 2 ranked player in her class and was part of the gold medal-winning squads for the FIBA ​​U17 World Cup 2022 and FIBA ​​Americas. U16 2021. Championship.

“She’s been doing it for so long,” said Desmond Sr. “She grew up watching them play and wanting to do everything they did.”

Although the two did not play together, they played against each other. Devan bounced around to different prep schools while Desmond stayed with one and those teams played once.

Desmond scored on a back door dunk, then was pushed off by his brother seconds later.

“They didn’t even call a foul because the ref knew our dad so he knew what was going on,” laughed Desmond.

Despite this small incident, Desmond Sr., said that it is Desmond Jr. who is the most competitive in the basketball brood.

Hurley is just happy to have the two by his side.

“It was great having Des and Devan,” he said. “They just bring a lot of intangibles right away. They’ve played a lot of basketball. Just a positive vibe. Very reliable in practice every day. Des is an explosive scorer, can put points on the board, and that’s is something we struggled with last year. So he brings that to the table. Devan is explosive on the open court. I mean, really power dunks.”

Hurley compares Devan to graduate Kimani Lawrence who was a “tacky” guy for the team. He will have another year of eligibility after this one.

“Devan maybe brings a lot of what Kimani Lawrence brought to us last year, a lot of glue stuff, rebounds, loose balls, good in defense, good in communication. So it’s good all around the player. They are different types of players and it was great to have them both.”

Contact the reporter at [email protected] or 602 444-4783. Follow her on Twitter @MGardnerSports.

Subscribe to today.