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The Kamari Lands Interview: Why He Chose Syracuse

Rick Manahan/Prolific Prep

In the midst of a busy offseason, five-star Kamari Lands, ranked 19th in ESPN’s top 60 players in the class of 2022, announced his commitment to Syracuse. He was the first in his class to choose Jim Boeheim and the Orange.

“It’s always been one of my favorite schools growing up. (I like) how they develop guards, (especially) the past people that have been there have been big guards, kind of my prototype,” Lands said. “I definitely see myself fitting in that process.”

The Indianapolis native attended La Lumiere High School, a well-known basketball powerhouse in his home state. The Lakers have produced talent such as Pistons center Isaiah Stewart, Warriors guard Jordan Poole and Grizzlies center Jaren Jackson Jr., who were all first round NBA draft picks.

But after a couple years, Lands transferred to Prolific Prep, another basketball centric school that competes around the country. A move that not only made sense for his trajectory as a player, but has developed his game.  

“It’s definitely helped, playing with a lot of top talent in the country [with] size and length,” Lands said. “Definitely helps my brother is there too, because he knows my game. Him being able to train with me all the time has definitely been good.”

Kamari’s brother, Jaraan Lands is a trainer at Prolific Prep, and conditions, trains and works with the five-star out in California.

But with the college decision in the rear view mirror, Lands has a ways away from becoming a polished player. Luckily for him, he has AAU ball and his senior year still to come.

“I definitely want to work on my ball handling and my athleticism,” Lands said. “Yeah, those are two main things I’m working on just to get at an elite level so it could just take my game forward.”

Lands added that he intends to play for the Oakland Soldiers, an AAU club team and a member of the NIKE EYBL Official Nike Sponsored Program, based in San Francisco. The Soldiers alumni tree is loaded with talent like Lebron James and Chauncey Billups.

The 6’8” small forward adds a piece to Syracuse that will benefit on both ends of the floor.

“I feel like in the defensive part of the zone, I feel I can play the top or the wing with my size, length and quickness,” Lands said. “Offensively, I’m able to play-make and score for my team, but I’m also versatile, I can play (the) one through four (positions) especially in small ball lineups.”

Lands hopes to play the main guard role, facilitating, scoring and simply doing it all for his team. But he reiterated his score-first mentality on a few occasions.

The class of 2022 commit stated that’s an integral part of how he plays his game, similar to a former SU guard who found plenty of success in his freshman year.

“I would compare myself to Malachi Richardson (because of) his size, his length and how he is able to score,” Lands said. “He’s a score first type player and that got him to the League so I definitely see that type of fit.”

Although Lands is a few years away from playing in the coveted Carrier Dome, he said he’s spoken to Buddy Boeheim and has a great relationship with Jim Boeheim and Gerry McNamara. 

The stage is set for the Indianapolis native for the ‘22-’23 season and he’s already setting major expectations for his freshman campaign.

“I’m a winner, I love to win and hate losing, so if we could win the ACC and then win the National Championship,” Lands said. “My goal is to win the Natty my freshman year.”

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The Fizz is owned, edited and operated by Damon Amendolara. D.A. is an ’01 Syracuse graduate from the Newhouse School with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.

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