CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Anyone who first laid eyes on Ballard star Quentin Snider at last year’s NBPA Top 100 camp might not have recognized him this time around.
It was a bigger, more physical Snider who walked through the doors of John Paul Jones Arena on Thursday.
The University of Louisville commitment came away from last year’s camp knowing he would need to get stronger to compete at the next level. He also acknowledged that U of L’s coaches asked him to add a little bulk, and that’s what he did.
“I felt like last year when I came here, I got knocked around a lot,” Snider said. “So I decided to get serious about the weight room.”
The 6-foot-2 point guard is now up to 177 pounds.
A sign of his progress: His player pages on Rivals.com and Scout.com list him at 150 pounds, which is about where he was at this time last year.
Snider is noticeably bigger than he was at the Sweet Sixteen in March, when his Ballard Bruins fell in the the championship game to Madison Central.
He took the loss hard, but he was back in the gym almost immediately.
“That was on my mind for probably about a month — because I wish we would have won it,” he said. “But after a couple of days I started to get serious about basketball again. I got in the weight room and started to work on my game again.”
Ballard will be among the favorites to return to Rupp Arena and compete for a state title in 2014.
Snider will be joined by a supporting cast that includes senior forward Kelan Martin, who has been getting praise from national analysts on the spring circuit.
Martin — also an AAU teammate of Snider — was listed as the No. 94 overall prospect in the class of 2014 when ESPN updated its rankings earlier this week.
“I think Kelan’s just been working on his game,” Snider said. “Right after school, you always see Kelan in the gym at Ballard. He’s getting serious with it.”
As for next season, Snider says Ballard is the team to beat.
“We should win it all, most (definitely).”