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Kahlil Whitney waited to sign NLI so he can give kids hope

Whitney wants to be an inspiration for others to chase their dreams.


Kentucky fans aren’t exactly used to the idea of a committed recruit choosing to delay the signing of their letter of intent.

John Calipari has obviously built a culture around getting the best players in America to come to Lexington and has rarely been met with with much opposition.

So, when Kahlil Whitney, a 2019 five-star recruit who committed to Kentucky back in August, chose to wait and sign his national letter of intent, it left many members of the Big Blue Nation unsettled.

Although, Whitney has said from day one that he had a strong reason behind his decision to wait until the spring to officially sign with the Cats.

The 6-7 small-forward grew up in Chicago but elected to transfer to Roselle Catholic High School in New Jersey. It has been well-documented that Whitney was exposed to the unfortunate harsh realities of growing up in inner-city Chicago and feels lucky to have escaped the violence that was all around him.

He has noted his ultimate reasoning behind waiting to sign his letter of intent is so he can do so in his hometown and show the local youth that anything is possible.

Ben Roberts of the Herald-Leader was in Atlanta this week for the McDonald’s All-American Game. Roberts spoke to Whitney, who participated in the event.

“I’m doing it for the kids. The kids where I’m from — a lot of kids don’t have that hope,” Whitney told the Herald-Leader. “I got an opportunity and I grasped it, so I want those kids to know that anything can happen, and you can make it from where I’m from.”

Whitney has detailed plans to sign his letter of intent at his former elementary school, Gregory Academy, in Chicago on May 3rd.

This has been the same story that Whitney has told over and over when asked why he decided not to sign in the early November signing period. Even though he has remained consistent in his reasoning, the delay has still caused some negative speculation among fans. Especially considering that Kentucky has since signed players like Keion Brooks and Dontaie Allen, who both play a similar wing position as Whitney.

“I’m 100 percent Kentucky,” Whitney told the Herald-Leader. “I’ll be signing my letter of intent May 3rd. For all the BBN, for all the Kentucky fans, there’s no worries.”

If that doesn’t put your mind at ease, you should also take into consideration that Whitney is reported to have a wonderful relationship with Tyrese Maxey, who is another McDonald’s All-American and UK commit.

Bottom line is that it may be out of the ordinary for a player like Whitney to not immediately sign their letter of intent. However, based on all of the facts, there is no cause for concern.

You should fully expect to see Kahlil Whitney in Blue come this fall, which is exciting news because the kid is a world-class athlete.

Check out his dunk from the Powerade Jam Fest in Atlanta this week, assist courtesy of Tyrese Maxey.

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