Hampton guard Peter Kramer commits to Lehigh

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Tuesday, November 7, 2023 | 5:16 PM


Hampton’s Peter Kramer was cold, standing in nearly a half-foot of snow with a shovel in his hands.

With gyms closed during the covid lockdown, Kramer was digging out the little concrete basketball court in the backyard of his Hampton home so he could practice in the winter of 2020.

“There would be five inches of snow on the ground,” he said. “My mom still has some pictures of me shoveling the court just to get some shots up.”

Kramer’s dedication helped him carve out a deal with Lehigh. The 6-foot-4 All-Section 1-4A senior guard announced his commitment to the Division I Patriot League school Nov. 7 as a preferred walk-on.

“When I was little, (playing D-I) was always my goal. When I got into my eighth-grade year, I really thought I had a good chance,” Kramer said. “I had a really good season. That was kind of my breakout year. Ever since that year, I’ve put a lot of hard work and hours on the court to keep getting better. Luckily, everything worked out and I’m super excited.”

Kramer visited the Bethlehem school for the third time Nov. 1 and felt it was a perfect fit. The mix of athletics and academics was appealing, and he chose coach Brett Reed’s program over Division II Hillsdale (Mich.) and Division III Emory and Denison.

Another factor was familiarity; Kramer’s father, grandfather and aunt attended Lehigh.

“I just kind of fell in love with the school and decided that’s where I wanted to go,” Kramer said. “It’s kind of the best of both worlds. It’s a winning program. There is a lot of success. I just love the environment. Everyone works hard. The coaching staff was amazing, and I just felt super welcomed.”

Kramer averaged 18.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists last season as Hampton went 24-4 and won its first section title since 2011. He had transferred from Shady Side Academy, where he won a WPIAL title as a sophomore, and was ineligible for the postseason due to PIAA transfer rules.

“I think Peter has a lot of qualities of a college basketball player,” Hampton coach Joe Lafko said. “He shoots the ball extremely well. He has the range to extend defenses. He jumps very well. … He handles the ball. He takes the ball to the basket well both left-hand and right-hand. He’s got a good skill set when it comes to offensive skills. Certainly, those are some things that will definitely bode well moving forward.”

Lehigh was second in the Patriot League 2023-24 preseason poll and is most remembered for its 2012 NCAA upset of No. 2 Duke behind C.J. McCollum’s 30 points. The Mountain Hawks went 16-14 last season, 11-7 in the Patriot League.

The Lehigh coaching staff began recruiting Kramer in earnest during his junior season at Hampton and picked up their efforts after seeing him play this past summer, most notably at a tournament in Atlantic City, N.J. with his AAU squad, Team Wildcat.

He was a prolific big-game high school scorer last season, netting 37 points at Highlands, 34 at North Hills, 30 at Butler, 29 against Bethel Park and 28 against Seneca Valley.

“The one thing that stands out to me most about Peter is when the game is on the line how he really wants the basketball and to make a play,” Lafko said. “You can’t teach that attribute. He really relishes in those spots.”

Kramer will begin official practice for his final basketball season at Hampton later this month. With the recruiting process completed, he is focused on leading the Talbots on another run to the WPIAL playoffs.

“I’m super excited and I kind of feel some relief,” he said. “Going into my senior year, I’m looking forward to hooping with my friends and knowing that everything has worked out for me.”

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