Despite the NCAA Tournament being the biggest thing in college basketball the past few weeks, there is still news being made beyond the tournament.
The McDonald’s All-American Game, the yearly showcase of some of the nation’s top high school players, took place this past week, and there was one notable absence. The Kentucky Wildcats’ most recent commitment, Keion Brooks, was not invited to participate in the showcase.
Brooks really improved in his senior season at the La Lumiere academy, helping to lead them to the top of the nation’s high school basketball rankings. Brooks is a five-star recruit and is ranked anywhere from 13th in the 2019 class by 247 Sports to 38th by ESPN. However, his peers who were invited said they were expecting big things from the wing player in Lexington.
La Lumiere teammate, and Washington Husky commit, Isaiah Stewart had this to say about Brooks via Ben Roberts of the Lexington Herald-Leader:
“I know he’s not ranked as high or whatever, but I feel like he’s going to do something special at Kentucky. I feel like it’s going to be a situation where he comes in and as he plays, his stock just keeps on going up. So I’m definitely looking forward to what he does. He’s a hard worker. I feel like he’s going to be one of the hardest workers on the team. And when you bring that hard work ethic to Kentucky, they’re going to get you to where you need to be.”
Stewart, a former Kentucky target himself, takes some credit for helping Brooks improve his strength and his post game. But Brooks can play all over the floor and that is something that his future Kentucky teammates Tyrese Maxey and Kahlil Whitney are looking forward to being involved with.
“Coach Cal does really good with wings like that,” said Maxey of Brooks. “That’s going to give Coach Cal another weapon and me another person to pass to. … He’s very versatile, and I think we complement each other. He gets to the scoring spots. We can go pick and roll and I can drop him dimes. He can give it to me in the fast break. And friendship. You always want to play with friends.”
It’s safe to say that Kentucky may have stolen Brooks from his home state Indiana Hoosiers, and it’s going to be fun to see what Brooks does in his first, and possibly only, season as a Wildcat.
Be sure to check out Ben Robert’s article with the Lexington Herald-Leader for the rest of the story on Brooks and his McDonald’s All-American snub.