Like a lot of former LSU players, Geert Hammink doesn’t need a getting-to-know-you period with the Tigers’ new coach.
And that could bode very well for Johnny Jones as he works feverishly to hit the ground running on the recruiting trail with the spring signing period underway.
Hammink’s son, 17-year-old Shane Hammink, is one of the top senior players in Europe and is looking for a school to call home.
Former LSU coach Trent Johnson had built a relationship with the family – flying to Holland and Spain as recently as two weeks ago to try and finish up the recruiting process.
When Johnson left last week to take the TCU job, things screeched to halt with the Hamminks, and left Shane Hammink uncertain about where he stood with LSU.
That may change now that Jones is in charge.
When Geert Hammink played for the Tigers, he said Jones was a close ally on the bench to a player who spent a lot of time on the bench.
That relationship has endured, and Hammink was among the many former LSU players pulling for Jones to get the job.
“We thought things were very promising with LSU when we got to know Coach Johnson and we all liked him and what he stood for,” said Geert Hammink, a backup center to Shaquille O’Neal for much of his college career. His wife Rhonda is a Louisiana native and also an LSU graduate.
“Shane has not committed to anybody yet, but LSU is certainly in his top three or four schools. I’m an alumnus and my wife is an alumnus. Shane was born in Baton Rouge. He would always include LSU on his list, but he’s not going to go to college just for fun.
“It’s his decision to make, but with Coach Jones there, I would fully advise him that I think LSU is a good place for him.”
Shane Hammink spent the last few seasons playing for Canarius Basketball Academy (CBA), an elite team of players from all over Europe. The team just finished playing a U.S. college all-star team at a U23 Tournament in Tourcoing, France. CBA lost in the championship game, 63-55, but the 6-foot-6, 200-pound Hammink scored 14 points and was named the tournament MVP.
“He flies under the radar in America because none of the recruiting services know about these kids in Europe,” Geert Hammink said. “I’m his father, but I don’t mind saying he’s a very good player.”
Shane Hammink is on the recruiting wish lists of Florida, Miami and Iowa, among others.