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Ames rising junior Tamin Lipsey has a bright basketball future ahead of him

Ames rising junior Tamin Lipsey has a bright basketball future ahead of him
Tamin Lipsey is believed to be one of the best basketball players in Iowa and one of the best prospects in the 2022 class. (Photo: USA Basketball, Courtesy: Tamin Lipsey)

AMES, Iowa (BVM) — It’s been a difficult year for Tamin Lipsey. A year ago in late June, he suffered an ACL tear that sidelined him for his entire sophomore year at Ames High School.

“It was a long 12 months, but I know that I’ve grown so much from that,” Lipsey said. “I learned a lot through rehab and recovery.”

Lipsey was cleared to play about three weeks ago and is already back to his usual self. In a recent game for All Iowa Attack, he had 12 points, six rebounds and six assists, including the game-winner.

“It feels good to be back out there and playing again,” Lipsey said. “I think that some people might have forgotten about me because of my injury. Now that I’m getting ready to get back, I’m hoping that I can show people I’m still here.”

Practically back to 100% and showing that the injury did not affect his elite athleticism, Lipsey is ready to regain the momentum he had leading up to the ACL tear.

Lipsey said it was around the time he was in preschool or kindergarten when his love for basketball began. He would play with his sisters and go to their practices. Once he was old enough to play on his own teams, he began to excel.

“Probably middle school,” Lipsey said. “That’s when I started to take it more seriously, I started playing up a grade or two. … I realized that I could do something with the talent I had and just have to keep working hard to make it where I want to go.”

All of this led to an interaction between Steve Prohm, the head coach of the Iowa State Cyclones, Lipsey and Lipsey’s father. During a camp run by the Cyclones the summer after Lipsey’s eight grade year, Prohm offered him a scholarship.

“I wasn’t expecting it at all,” Lipsey said. “I had to ask my dad if that really just happened. It’s a great moment to cherish and hold on to. It motivated me to keep working to keep getting more.”

The Iowa State offer helped put him on the map and solidified him as someone to watch for in the Class of 2022. Since then he has received interest from the University of North Carolina, Minnesota, Michigan, Nebraska and Iowa. 

His freshman year at Ames ended with All-Iowa second team honors after he helped lead the Little Cyclones to the state quarterfinals. That season, Lipsey averaged 17 points, 3.9 rebounds and 4.7 assists. 

That June he also made the 2019 USA U16 National Team and played in the 2019 FIBA Americas U16 Championship in Belem, Brazil where he helped lead team USA win the gold medal.

“That was one of the best moments of my life so far,” Lipsey said. 

However, it was only a few weeks after that highest of highs that Lipsey would tear his ACL.

Now that he’s back, it’s not just basketball that he is looking forward to getting back into. Lipsey is a three-sport athlete, playing football and running track as well as playing basketball. Even more impressive is that he is just as talented in his other sports as he is in basketball.

As a freshman on the track team, he placed third at state in the long jump. Prior to that, Lipsey won three National Junior Olympics Championships, four Region Eight Junior Olympic Championships and six USATF Iowa Association Junior Track and Field Championships in hurdles, long jump and high jump.

“I think each sport helps me with another sport,” Lipsey said. “I think there are a lot of benefits to playing multiple sports.”

Through the successes and the setbacks, Lipsey has not forgotten his dedication to hard work and the belief in what he is capable of. With his last two years of high school looking better than his first two, Lipsey will have no problem reminding people why they need to pay attention to the point guard from Ames.

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