Former JHS basketball standout hopes career ends with national title
AS SHE describes it, Amanda Lampley’s summer days are filled with “a whole lot of pick-up games.”
The former Jefferson basketball star said she’s always seeking a little friendly hoops competition — doesn’t matter where — as she preps for what could be a big final season at Atlanta Christian College.
“Any gym I can find,” Lampley, a rising senior, said matter-of-factly.
There’s plenty of motivation to stay sharp over the summer.
The one-time Lady Dragon, who graduated from Jefferson High School in 2007, is an integral part of a national title contender in the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) Division II ranks.
Atlanta Christian College — a small private school of 850 in East Point — is coming off back-to-back NCCAA Division II South Regional titles for the first time in the program’s history, as well as a sixth-place finish nationally in 2009-2010.
The goal is a national title this year for Lampley and her teammates, who are no longer content with just South Regional banners.
Lampley did her part as a junior for the 21-10 Lady Chargers, who whipped Clearwater (Fla.) Christian College by 21 points for the regional title. She averaged 10.2 rebounds a contest — good for second-best in the conference — and earned an NCCAA all-regional tournament honorable mention nod for her postseason efforts.
“She’s one of the hardest workers on the team,” Atlanta Christian College coach Mandy Cook said. “I can call a timeout and tell her that I need her to get me three rebounds and she’ll get me four.”
But Lampley says she can do better. As a senior, she wants to be more of an offensive presence for the Lady Chargers, after averaging 8.7 per contest this past year.
“I do a little bit of everything,” Lampley said. “But I’m not as aggressive as I should be.”
Lampley is certainly aggressive on the defense end, which is her calling card. Her defensive goals for each game are the same: pickup at least four steals and hold the player she’s guarding under 10 points.
“Defense is where I work the hardest because my teammates are counting on me,” she said.
Her coach knows she can count on her, too. If the opposing team’s best player is in the post, Cook knows who to call on.
“Lampley’s on her,” the coach said. “She basically shuts them down.”
Off the court, Lampley is a business administration major who plans to attend law school and became a sports agent. She wants to help players coming from small schools, like herself, make it professionally. In fact, that’s been Lampley’s wish since high school when she saw a television program that depicted an agent. She doesn’t recall the name of the show, but the profession left a lasting impression on her.
“I was watching a TV show, and I was, ‘yeah, that sounds like me.’
But negotiating free agent contracts can wait for now.
True to her reputation as a hard worker, Lampley has been in the gym since April to improve her game, training at least four hours a day. That includes weightlifting, cardio work and, of course, all those pick-up games. After all, she has specific goals in mind for her final year.
“To help my teammates and myself and, hopefully, bring back a national title,” Lampley said.