The invitational, which took place Aug. 3-5 in San Diego, was one of seven regional basketball camps sponsored by Adidas throughout the year. More than 100 middle-school players from around the country were invited to attend, and Sandlin, an eighth-grader at Creekland Middle School, was one of them.
After averaging 15 points, eight assists and three steals per game over the course of the three-day camp, the shooting guard ranked sixth at his position and 35th overall, which made him the highest-ranked player from Georgia.
“I was kind of surprised,” said Sandlin, who said his specialty is 3-point shooting. “The level of competition was really high. Some of the guys there were crazy good. It made me feel a lot better about my game.”
Sandlin was also one of the few eighth-graders to be given both the hustle and sportsmanship awards.
“To me, the hustle and sportsmanship awards were more important than the ranking,” said Sandlin’s father, Jeffrey. “Those traits are the intangibles of a great athlete.”
Despite his success at the invitational, Weber Sandlin only began to work on his game seriously in the sixth grade. He has, however, had a love for basketball since he could walk, which he developed by watching the University of Kentucky, a team he hopes to one day play for.
“Even as a baby, I was always bouncing a ball around,” Sandlin said. “I played on my first team when I was 6, and I’ve played ever since.”
When asked what he had planned for his future, Sandlin was adamant that basketball would be a part of it.
“I want to play in the NBA,” he said. “It’s been going through my mind ever since the third grade. If not the NBA, I’d love to play overseas. There are some great players there.”
Sandlin doesn’t plan on getting ahead of himself, however, and he hopes to continue to develop his game in his final year at Creekland.
“I want to get stronger and take the ball to the hole more and work on my defense,” Sandlin said. “We won the county championship last year as well, and I want to win it again.”
Standing 5-foot-4, Sandlin also expects to gain a bit of height in the coming years.
“I’m really lanky, and I have height in my family,” Sandlin said, “so I’ve got a ways to go.”
While appreciative of his talents, Sandlin refuses to let them go to his head.
“If you start getting a big head about how you play,” Sandlin said, “it can all disappear.”