For CJ Fleming, La Salle's Gym is Home Away from Home

Photo courtesy WCPO

Photo courtesy WCPO

By Mike Dyer,

Nearly two weeks before classes resume at La Salle High School, CJ Fleming is enduring the summer humidity inside the school gymnasium like a seasoned pro.

He’s practically grown up inside this place, but the sweltering heat index outside cooks this gym to a stuffy setting. Luxury isn’t in the vernacular of the La Salle basketball program.

Fleming’s solo workouts may not seem to be an uncommon occurrence for the second-team all-state basketball player at first glance.

After all, he is the son of longtime Lancers coach Dan Fleming. The reality is for the past 27 years La Salle basketball has been the centerpiece for the family.

Except for the fact you quickly realize CJ has been shooting in this gym three to four hours nearly ever day since the Lancers lost to Centerville in the Division I district final at Wright State March 5.

CJ puts up 200-250 shots plus free throws in the morning. He returns to the gym in the late afternoon for another 250-300 plus free throws.

“No one knows how CJ grinds it out and he doesn’t care that it’s unknown,” La Salle Athletic Director Keith Pantling said. “That’s not why he does it.”

Plain and simple, CJ wants to improve an already smooth stroke. Basketball is his passion. The Bellarmine University commit wants to win. It’s in his blood.

“For a lack of a better term, he is just ate up with basketball,” Dan Fleming said. He understands how much the game means to his son.