MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Siyani Chambers was Mr. Basketball in the state his senior year at Hopkins High School. Now he’s making a name for himself in college, and he’s already set his sights at the next level.

Either way, he’ll be in a pretty good place when he graduates because of the university he decided to play for: Harvard.

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Chambers had a reputation as an explosive guard who could see the floor, and his career took off at the reputable college.

“It’s great, you get the best of both worlds — academics of course, and definitely athletics,” Chambers said. “All the programs at Harvard are doing very well.”

The ultimate challenge might not be the competition, but balancing the academics of a storied institution.

“Sometimes it gets hectic, but it’s a lot of time management,” Chambers said. “Our coaching staff and our teachers are working together to make sure we get the best of both worlds.”

In the summer, Chambers comes home and plays with his Minnesota-connected group at 43 Hoops Basketball Academy.

“They’re really competitive, really physical,” he said. “These are guys that play overseas… It’s good for me to get out here and play. It’s really good competition.”

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Cris Carr, the director of 43 Hoops and a former NBA Player, says he’s impressed with what he’s seen from Chambers on the court.

“He’s very similar to Tyus Jones,” Carr said. “His cerebral aspect of the game is very, very high. He’s got to continue to work on his scoring ability and his shooting ability, but I think that he’s the type of kid who’s going to get an opportunity to play the game at the next level.”

Chambers is looking to follow in the footsteps of another famous alumni, Jeremy Lin, and prove that another Ivy Leaguer can make the jump to the NBA.

“That’s everybody’s dream when they start playing basketball at a young age, and that’s definitely my dream,” Chambers said. “We have a guy named Wesley Saunders who’s entering the NBA Draft and has very high potential right now.”

Seeing Lin’s success in professional basketball has given him hope too.

“It just gives a lot of hope to everybody entering the program, that if you put the time in and you stick to the program, and you stick to the structure and culture of the team, that you can make it as far as he did, hopefully,” Chambers said.

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Still, earning a Harvard degree while training isn’t a bad backup plan.

Mike Max