Confidence was something that Kevin Knox was lacking before last year's USA U16 gold medal in Argentina. Knox was a surprise invitee to the tryouts last season and more than showed that he deserved to be there by not just making the team, but being a key part to the team's success.
According to his father and his high school coach, confidence is no longer an issue for the 6'8 five-star small forward from Tampa who's now the sixth-ranked player in the 2017 class. Knox had been a two-sport athlete up until his success last summer when he decided to give up football, where he had a few college offers as a quarterback, to focus on basketball.
The work ethic that he's shown to help improve his game is something that he learned from his father Kevin Knox Sr. who was a wide receiver on Florida State's 1993 national championship team and also played in the NFL. With his father's athletic ability and his mother being a 6'1 volleyball player there was little doubt that Knox would be quite the athlete.
As for his game, he is a versatile wing player. He said in a recent interview with 247Sports that he can play every position 1-5. His father says that he compares his game to Scottie Pippen or Kevin Durant, while Knox says he models his game after Grant Hill, Kelly Oubre, and Brandon Ingram.
This versatility is something that he also mentions college coaches are telling him in his recruiting process. He said when Coach Cal came for an in-home visit he talked about him being positionless and said that he would get Knox ready to go to the league, which is something that Knox said really got through to him.
Ranked by ESPN as the No. 7 overall player while Rivals.com and Scout.com have him at No. 6, Knox is easily one of the biggest targets for UK this year. However, Florida State and Duke are viewed as the favorites for now. Between Coach K's access to recruits in USA Basketball and the family connection at FSU, it's easy to see how that's the case, but don't ever count Coach Cal out.
As for this year, Knox is part of the U17 USA Men's team who is competing in the FIBA World Championships. Knox has once again been an important part to the team averaging 11.8 points and five rebounds in just 17 minutes. He has also been showing his efficiency, shooting 57 percent from the floor and 91 percent from the free throw line.
Knox and the rest of the U17 USA team will compete in the gold medal game against Turkey, which they've already defeated 84-66 earlier in pool play, this Sunday at 3 PM EST.