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Kahlil Whitney’s mom describes how Kentucky was the best fit

“I just want him surrounded by positivity, by people who can help get him where he wants to be, and he knew Kentucky was that place for him.”

The Kentucky Wildcats’ 2019 class is looking great, and a big part of that is five-star small forward Kahlil Whitney.

Whitney is the No. 12 player in the class of 2019 on the 247 Sports composite. He’s also ranked the No. 4 small forward by the same metric, which measures all of the recruiting rankings.

He’s ranked as high as No. 6 overall in 2019, and there’s a belief he could finish even higher before it’s all said and done.

Prior to picking Kentucky in August, Whitney was favored to commit to Illinois, who had been recruiting him for much longer, and they also had former Kentucky assistant Orlando Antigua.

But Kentucky made a sudden surge in July that was aided by the fact Whitney had already been very high on Kentucky. Once John Calipari offered him a scholarship, Kentucky became the heavy favorite for Whitney, so much that it was a given when he announced his decision to rock that Kentucky blue.

In an interview with Larry Vaught, Whitney’s mother, Chanel Tillmon, spoke about her son’s desire to play in Lexington and how it was the best fit for him.

“He is all about business. No negativity, always positive, on a mission to reach his dream goal to make it to the NBA,” said Tillmon. “I just want him surrounded by positivity, by people who can help get him where he wants to be and he knew Kentucky was that place for him.”

There had been rumblings that Whitney’s mother really loved Illinois prior to his commitment, but in the end, she wanted what was best for her son.

“He has done a lot of basketball, so he also does his research about things,” Tillmon said. “I don’t really follow basketball unless I know somebody playing. There was just alway something about Kentucky and their players and the history there. He was always just waiting for that one offer and when he got it, he took it.”

Calipari fell in love with Whitney’s game in the July live period, and it’s no surprise why. Whitney has the versatility that Calipari is constantly looking to get more of these days, not to mention Whitney plays defense harder than most high school players, even showing glimpses of what Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was in Lexington en route to becoming a national champion.

Whitney is going into his senior year at Roselle Catholic in New Jersey. He’s currently part of a three-man Kentucky class that includes five-star guard Tyrese Maxey and four-star wing Dontaie Allen.

That has Kentucky pretty much set on wings for 2019, and it also has the overall class already in good shape, partially depending on how many players leave for the NBA on the 2018-19 team.

Be sure to read Vaught’s full interview here. Then, check out Vaught’s interview with Whitney’s former high school coach on what makes the rising wing so special.

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