Basketball: 20 Questions with Harper Kamp

Today, we catch up with . . .

Position: Forward
Height: 6-8
Hometown: Mesa, Ariz.

If you could play 1-on-1 with any player in basketball history, who would you choose? My favorite player right now is Steve Nash, but I don’t have a chance. I can’t stay with him. I would say Tim Duncan.

Hypothetically, I have $10 to bet on who wins. Tell me why I should consider you: I wouldn’t bet on me. I mean, it’s Tim Duncan. But his knees are getting a little old.

What’s your basketball career highlight so far?  High school, definitely. Winning the state title my sophomore, junior and senior years. Those will always be pretty special to me just because the group of kids, when you’re that young. The focus we had and how invested we were in that.

Who’s the best dunker on the Cal team? I’m going to give it up for Rob Thurman. He can get up. It surprises me.

What’s the most consecutive free throws you’ve ever made? I don’t remember the exact number, but I did make just over 100. Around 117.

Give me one word that describes coach Mike Montgomery: Wise.

When you’re not playing, do you prefer to watch college basketball or the NBA? College, by far.

When you were younger, other than basketball, what was your favorite sport to play? Do you consider chess a sport? That’s what I played when I was younger.

In one word, describe how good you were at that sport: Top-10 (in the country for his age group).

Aside from you, who is the best athlete in your family? My younger brother, Sam. He’s going to Oregon next year as a defensive end. He’s about 6-4, 6-5 and almost as heavy as me now. He’s been lifting like crazy. It’s exciting. I can’t wait to steal some gear from him.

Before basketball, what did you first want to be when you grew up? Even before chess, I wanted to be a fireman. Firemen were my heroes.

Tell me something cool about your hometown that only a local would know: Where I grew up was all dirt roads. I grew up in northern Arizona, just outside of Payson, Arizona. My teammates are going to make fun of me if they read this. It was originally a pig farm. It wasn’t a farm when I lived there, but it originally was.

Greatest vacation you’ve ever taken?  Where did you go?  Who was along? The only vacation I’ve ever been on was a family vacation just before I went off to college. We went to San Diego for a few weeks. It was my summer going into college and it was the last time spending that much time with my family. So it was a lot of fun.

What’s your favorite place to eat on or near campus? Everyone says Chipotle. I don’t mind it, but I can’t eat there every day. My spot used to be Steve’s Korean. I’m going to go with Thai Basil.

Favorite Cal class? It was Anthropology 139. It was taught by Laura Nader, Ralph Nader’s sister. It’s called Controlling Processes. It’s about institutional controls.

What Cal athlete you’ve met who is not on the men’s basketball team has impressed you? Carli Lloyd (NCAA volleyball player of the year). Man, she is just a beast. I’ve been friends with her for a few years now. Watching her work out and her work ethic and then watching her play, she’s just phenomenal.

The best movie you’ve ever seen? Kung Fu Panda.

The worst? Some people might say Kung Fu Panda. It’s my favorite movie. The worst movie I’ve ever seen is High School Musical — I’ve seen all three of them. I have a little sister who loves them and a girlfriend who loves them.

Your favorite website? My email. It’s the only one I go on.

What was the last book you read that wasn’t assigned? A book called Flow (Flow: The Pyschology of Optimal Experiences). I can’t pronounce the author’s name (Mihaly Csikzentmihalyi). It’s kind of like a psychology book, just about success and the process of being in the zone and improving.

Jeff Faraudo