Year one at Oak Hill Academy is in the books for Howard Thompkins and the 6-foot-8, 225-pound forward learned a little bit about himself in the process.
Life in Mouth of Wilson, Va., was much different than the last two years for Thompkins, who shined at the Wesleyan school in metro Atlanta. The days of being a 25 points per game scorer and rebounding a dozen boards a game were put on the backseat.
His points were cut in half and his primary role was to be a post presence on a team that featured guards Nolan Smith, Alex Legion and Brandon Jennings. Thompkins admitted this year was a growing process.
"I was just so used to playing whatever position I wanted to. If I wanted to make the pass, I made the pass. If I wanted to shoot the three, I shot the three. If I wanted to post up, I posted up," he said. "But (at Oak Hill), I had to play a role. I was a little thrown off by that. I wasn't comfortable with that. It wasn't what I'm used to. I'm looking forward to getting back to where I was this spring and summer."
The five-star forward said the season allowed him to view the game a little differently than before.
"The best part about is learning how to deal with the different kind of bullets that are shot at you and knowing how to handle it," Thompkins said.
"I figure this is the last year to prove myself. I want to be a McDonald's All-American. That's my goal."
His goal is also to land at a high-major school. Two programs have emerged as the teams to beat. Thompkins visited both of them while on his two week spring break from Oak Hill. He took in Florida and Georgia last week.
"It was fine. It was a nice atmosphere. I'd say it was my third or fourth trip down there," Thompkins said of his time at Florida. "I figured since they are my top school, I'd check them out again. It was good to be there with the other recruits. If I decided to play there, I wanted to get to know them even more."
Thompkins was joined by junior Samardo Samuels and seniors Patrick Patterson, Alex Tyus, Chandler Parsons and Nick Calathes.
"From everything I saw, it met my expectations," Thompkins said.
Thompkins visited his other favorite, Georgia, the night before his trip to Florida. He said it was his first time in Athens for a basketball game.
"It was pretty much the same thing with Florida," he said. "They are crazy there. I saw pretty much what I thought I was going to see."
Thompkins said Georgia has remained strong the appeal of playing close to his friends and family weighs heavily on his mind.
"At Georgia, I feel like I could be the face of the program while at Florida I can be a piece to the puzzle," Thompkins said. "At Georgia, I can be close to home while at Florida, I can be in a great atmosphere. It's going to be hard."
Georgia Tech is third in line, Thompkins said, while Florida State and North Carolina are also waiting in the wings.
"By the end of the summer, I'd like to know," Thompkins said of his decision. "I'll probably take some official visits because I don't want to rush it. I don't want to sign with a sign and then wonder, 'What if?'"