Before the 6-foot-2 sharpshooting combo guard for 2018 dropped 18.3 points per game for Team Melo (MD) during the Nike EYBL season this past spring and before scoring 20 or more points in 14 games as a junior for McDonogh (MD), Locke made his unforgettable splash into the spotlight at the DMVElite 80 Camp a couple summers ago.
“That was the camp that really started everything with me,” he said. “That was one of my first opportunities to really showcase what I could do, and I took full advantage of it. It just went up from there.”
Ever since, and despite not earning the camp invites or rankings of some of his peers -- something that drives him daily -- Locke has buried his doubters one smooth 3-pointer at a time and put out his final eight schools earlier this month.
“I just felt that those eight schools that I picked were the best move for me,” Locke explained. “It felt great to finally break it down because there were so many of them calling and texting every day. It just felt good to finally have only eight schools that I know I will be picking from.”
As for official visits, those are almost all finalized:
August 31: Providence
September 9: Xavier
September 16: Michigan
September 30: Florida
The fifth and final official visit will be determined at a later date. Due to proximity to home, Maryland will likely be an unofficial visit in the coming weeks.
The announcement brought out several emotions for the young bucket-getter, of course, but he has earned the praise and exploding stock boost.
With some of the nation’s top programs and coaches on hand, Locke knocked down a ridiculous 49 percent from long range during the Nike EYBL regular season to lead his squad to Peach Jam, where he averaged another 18.2 points over five games.
“I believe that if you can shoot, then shoot. If you can dribble, then dribble," he said. "If you can get to the basket, then get to the basket at your highest ability. You should push what you can do your best, and I can shoot. I shoot the ball really well.”
Locke is seen as a marksman by many programs, but he is not satisfied with being just a shooter. He wants to become a lock-down defender and a better overall player.
Getting in the gym with New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony has been part of the process.
Locke’s plan is to commit and sign before his senior season begins. He is aiming for even bigger things in the future, including hoping for a shot to play in the NBA down the road. And while his goals are set, and the work to succeed continues, he will always have that DMVElite 80 jersey as a reminder of where it all began.