ST. PETERSBURG — Joe Lampley has become a basketball nomad, traveling from school to school.
He started off playing his first two seasons at Admiral Farragut before transferring to Clearwater last season. Now, Lampley’s odyssey has come full circle — for himself and his family.
The rising senior has transferred to Boca Ciega after his family moved from Clearwater to St. Petersburg. For the past two weeks he has been playing with Bogie in a summer league at Fossil Park.
“We moved back and that’s the school I’m zoned for,” Lampley said Monday night.
Last year, Lampley played for the Tornadoes and averaged 9.6 points and 5.8 rebounds. Clearwater coach Allen Carden said he knew Lampley was transferring but was unsure which school he would be attending.
“It’s disappointing,” Carden said. “I thought he was playing well for us and we were giving him the ball and letting him be a scorer. He definitely would have been a big player for us this season.”
Boca Ciega coach Randy Shuman said Lampley enrolled within the past month.
“As far as I know, everything checked out and Joe is good to go,” Shuman said.
This isn’t the first time the Lampleys have switched schools. In 2002, Joe’s older brothers, Tommy and Lewis, transferred from Boca Ciega to Admiral Farragut. It was a tough transition considering their father, Tommy Sr., played at Dixie Hollins and was active in the local basketball scene. The Lampleys’ cousin, Telles, also was a standout for the Pirates.
Three years later, Joe’s younger sister, Ariel, transferred from Admiral Farragut after her eighth-grade year to St. Petersburg Catholic, then to Gibbs her senior year but did not play.
Joe played this summer with the Jacksonville Elite Bulls AAU travel team. He will join a Boca Ciega team that returns a strong nucleus, including Michael Clark, Dallas Moore and DJ White.
“It’ll be tough to leave Clearwater,” Lampley said. “I made a couple of friends there, and I’ll always stay in touch with them. But it will be fun to play at Boca Ciega. We have a lot of guys and it should be a good year for us.”