CHARLOTTESVILLE — As Reece Beekman took the floor Thursday at John Paul Jones Arena, it was hard not to picture himself in a Virginia basketball jersey.
Beekman, assigned to the Bucks team at the annual NBPA Top 100 camp, had made an oral commitment to UVa prior to Thursday’s games.
“It was kind of crazy, knowing that in a couple of years, I’d be out in front of thousands of people and having a totally different experience,” he said. “It’s kind of like my new home.”
Beekman, a 6-foot-4 guard, is entering his final year of high school at Scotlandville Magnet High in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Other schools he considered included TCU, Alabama, Iowa State, Houston, LSU and California.
He didn’t have a favorite team when he was growing up, “but I like Kyrie [Irving],” Beekman said. “He was my favorite player growing up.”
Beekman has an older brother, Bryce, who played football at Arizona State before transferring to Washington.
One of Bryce Beekman’s teammates at Arizona State was Bryce Perkins, a record-setting quarterback for Virginia’s team after a year in junior college.
Bryce Perkins got together with the younger Beekman on a recent visit to Charlottesville.
Beekman played 26 minutes Thursday in a format devised for all 11 Bulls players to log at least 15 minutes. He scored five points, including a 3-pointer, and had five assists, compared to one turnover.
One of his teammates — 6-7 shooting guard Keon Johnson from Shelbyville, Tennessee — was in street clothes after an injury Thursday night.
Johnson had accompanied Beekman on the recent visit to UVa.
“We were on our official visit together,” Beekman said, “so, that would be the first person I’d try to get to come here.”