MarJon Beauchamp has a chance to become the NBA’s next big superstar.

One day he could have his jersey available in sporting good stores across the country, and one day he might be celebrating three-pointers in Madison Square Garden.

But for right now, he’s just a humble 18 year old kid, trying to figure his life out. 

When you look at Beauchamp’s sparkling resume, a lot of people would assume he’s from a ‘flashy’ city like Seattle, Chicago, or Los Angeles.

The 6-foot-6, 200-pound forward is one of the nation's top basketball recruits, he’s won two state titles, and his social media following tallies over 40,000. Currently he’s preparing for the NBA Draft with the prestigious Chameleon BX.

Down the line, it’s likely a befuddled reporter will ask what it was like growing up in Seattle (where he played three years of prep ball). At that point, Beauchamp said he will deflect the spotlight onto his true hometown: Yakima, Washington. 

“Yakima is what made me the person I am today,” Beauchamp said. “It’s a tough city, and nothing came easy, but that only made me stronger.”

For the first 15 years of his life, Yakima was all that Beauchamp knew, and he loved his community.

His family’s name is deeply ingrained into the city’s history. MarJon’s grandfather, Henry Beauchamp was Yakima’s first African-American mayor; He had a vision where everyone strives to help one another, and help make their community a better place.

Henry Beauchamp passed away in 2013, but his legacy lives on with the Henry Beauchamp Community Center.

Grandpa Beauchamp was one of MarJon’s closest mentors
Grandpa Beauchamp was one of MarJon’s closest mentors

MarJon’s father, Jon Marc Beauchamp, was heavily involved in the local youth basketball scene. He’s also a top ten all-time scorer at Davis High School, and played his college ball at Eastern Washington University.

With such a quality family lineage, MarJon grew up hoping to one day make his own positive impact on the community.

He found his calling early on the hardwood, where he established himself as something of a basketball prodigy. 

Alongside other local standouts like Brock Ravet and Antonio Salinas, MarJon and his Yakima AAU team would become an unlikely small town powerhouse.

Historically, Yakima youth basketball teams have stood very little chance against the nationally ranked programs in cities like Seattle and Portland.

This made it all the more impressive when Beauchamp helped lead his team to several championships on the westside, shocking much more established programs.

Beauchamp (second from right) and his underdog AAU team
Beauchamp (second from right) and his underdog AAU team

With his lanky frame, accurate shooting, and excellent quickness, Beauchamp was beginning to show signs of a potential D1 athlete. Still, the idea of becoming a 5-star NBA prospect was never even a thought. It just seemed too far fetched for a kid from Yakima.

Local referee Doug Dorton has seen many generations of kids come through the area; He recognized Beauchamp as different from the very first game.

“Even as a young kid, he made everything look effortless,” Dorton said. “He had natural finesse and a beautiful shot. With his frame, it was clear he was going to have an incredibly high ceiling.”

As Beauchamp solidified himself as the gem of the Yakima farm system, the stars were aligning for him to become the next face of Davis High Basketball. 

The hype surrounding him would reach delirious levels as he started his freshman campaign.

Beauchamp got thrown into the fire right away, making his summer league debut against the defending champions Sunnyside Grizzlies.

Still just 14 years old, Beauchamp absolutely demolished the senior-laden reigning champs. He dropped a shocking 25 points in just the first half, and sat out much of the second half with the game in control. 

As fun as his first game was, it was ultimately a reality check.

To put it bluntly, Beauchamp’s skills were already far greater than the best competition he’d face in the region. And he still had four more years where he needed to improve. 

Beauchamp was now faced with a brutally difficult decision: should he stay in Yakima, where he could lead Davis to league titles, shatter school records, and continue his family's legacy?

Or should he head to a big city, where the competition would be greater, with more exposure, and a chance to take his game to unknown heights?

During that time, former NBA superstar Brandon Roy was announced as the new head coach of Nathan Hale High School (Seattle).

This piqued the interest of Beauchamp, who recognized that learning under an NBA great could be exactly what he needs.

“I decided I needed to take advantage of this,” Beauchamp said. “But it was really hard. I had to leave my mom; She just had twins. I had to leave my town, my best friends, it was really tough.”

Even at just 14 years old, Beauchamp realized the sacrifices he would need to make to live his dream.

So he and his father packed their lives into a couple suitcases, and moved to a remedial two-bedroom apartment in North Seattle.

Beauchamp’s life went from glamorous hometown celebrity, to no-name bench warmer living in an unfamiliar city with no friends. Essentially overnight.

Jon Marc Beauchamp recognized the hardships his son was facing, but never let him feel pity, and never let him lose sight of the big picture.

“The mentals were up and down during that time,” Jon said. “But I kept telling him ‘you have to decide if this is really what you want to do. And if it is, then you need to commit to it.’” 

Behind a bevy of nationally ranked seniors, Beauchamp would see just a flurry of minutes his freshman year.

But even though he wasn’t winning All League awards, Beauchamp’s debut season was still considered a wild success.

He learned what it takes to compete against the country’s best, he earned the trust of an elite coaching staff, and he got exposure playing in a nationally recognized league (Seattle Metro). On top of that, his team also won the 3A State Title.

Moving to Seattle was a huge risk, but it was paying off with huge dividends. With how well his first season went, all bets were off to keep trying new things.

Going into sophomore year, his head coach Brandon Roy left Nathan Hale for Garfield High School. So naturally, Beauchamp left to reunite with his coach. 

Once again, Beauchamp was stuck behind a cast of established seniors, and so once again, playing time was scarce. He did however continue to elevate his game, and was able to snag his second State Title.

As good as his basketball career was trending, his classroom work was nowhere near where it needed to be. So prior to his junior year, he made the call to transfer yet again. This time to Rainier Beach High School, where he’d have more academic resources at his disposal. 

It was Beauchamp’s junior year where he went from raw prospect to bonafide superstar. He was installed into the Rainier Beach starting lineup from day one, and would go on to earn Metro League MVP honors. On the season, he averaged a head turning 27 points, 8 rebounds, and 7.5 assists per game. 

Beauchamp had arrived
Beauchamp had arrived (Rainier Beach Athletics)

Beauchamp’s breakout junior year would put him on the radar of just about every major D1 program in the country. With his rare blend of size, explosiveness, and scoring, he was becoming a prototype for the modern game.

During the span of his junior year he received well over two dozen D1 offers; From schools like Michigan, UW, Alabama, Georgetown, and UCLA. 

“Where I’m from growing up in Yakima, I saw where all the NCAA players were coming from, and I never thought I’d have a chance to play like that,” Beauchamp said. “So getting all those offers, it was a dream come true.” 

Conventional wisdom told him that going to college was the right path to the NBA. But MarJon’s life up until this point had been anything but conventional.

While attending a basketball showcase prior to his senior year, Beauchamp was approached by legendary NBA trainer Frank Matrisciano. He threw an offer on the table that Beauchamp described as a ‘life changing opportunity.’

Instead of attending college, where he’d be weighed down by a full class schedule, and questionable coaching, Beauchamp could instead train specifically for the NBA for a full year. 

Frank ran an NBA prep program called Chameleon BX. His program offered former NBA coaches as trainers, strength coaches, and even marketing specialists, all in the name of getting prospects ready for the rigors of NBA life.

Training is a full time job at Chameleon BX
Training is a full time job at Chameleon BX

“My life has been all about taking risks, and I felt Frank believed in me more than anyone else during the recruiting process,” Beauchamp said.

After committing to Chameleon BX, Beauchamp moved to Arizona his senior year. This allowed him to elevate his game even more, playing against the likes of Lebron James Jr., and other nationally ranked prospects.

Following his senior year, he made the move to San Francisco, where he’s now training seven days a week with Chameleon BX.

Right now Beauchamp’s focus is 100% on getting drafted into the NBA. But down the line, he has a much bigger vision for what he wants to do with his life. 

As amazing as it would be to win scoring titles, and even NBA titles, Beauchamp believes his biggest legacy can be the difference he makes in his community.

He has a dream to continue his grandfather’s vision of what the Henry Beauchamp Community Center can be. 

MarJon Beauchamp said the Yakima based community center badly needs renovations. He wants to add more basketball courts, a training center, a gymnastics complex, and more academic resources.

He also wants to create a job training program, to put more young adults in leadership positions around Yakima. On top of that, he hopes to organize youth basketball camps, to educate kids on fundamentals and hard work both on and off the court.

Jay Clark has been an expert on the Yakima basketball scene for many decades now. He’s observed Beauchamp growing up, and is excited for the impact he can make on the world. 

“It’s that dream that so many kids have,” Clark said. “To see that it’s possible, that someone from your own community accomplished it. For young kids, I think it gives them drive and motivation to believe.”

MarJon Beauchamp has been incredibly loyal to Yakima his whole life. Even when he left for Seattle, he made regular returns to participate in local tournaments and check in on his lifelong friends.

Just a kid from East Yakima
Beauchamp (second from left) and his childhood friends

“I feel like Yakima has my back more than anyone else,” Beauchamp said. “To rep the 509 on the national stage, it means a lot to me, and I hope I can inspire the next generation.”

The Yakima area has produced plenty of NFL and MLB players over the years, but has never produced an NBA player.

When you look at the history of NBA superstars, their hometown has played a massive role in influencing who they are. Whether it’d be Derrick Rose from the southside of Chicago, or Lebron James from Akron, Ohio.

We might be getting a little ahead of ourselves, but MarJon Beauchamp, the ‘Son of Yakima,’ has a nice ‘ring’ to it. Hey why not dream big?

We’re all just a kid from somewhere.

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