Kentucky fans were glad to see Kenny Payne’s son, Zan Payne, commit to Kentucky in May, even though he had suffered a knee injury near the end of his high school season.
Many have long assumed that Payne would sit this season out and focus on rehabbing his knee, but no official word on his status had been announced until today.
.@young_payne2321 won't play this year as he rehabs from a knee injury he suffered at the end of his HS career, but if there's one thing we know about the Paynes - Kenny is his dad - it's that he's going to work as hard as anyone, especially to get back on the court. #UKSummerSZN pic.twitter.com/DkXvTFOMyy— Kentucky Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) August 27, 2018
Luckily, this Kentucky Wildcats team is deep which will allow Payne to fully focus on rehab and getting his knee healthy to compete at a high level again without the pressure of having to try to rush things.
Payne was a big-time player for Lexington Catholic High School averaging a near double-double his senior year. He was a three-year starter and scored 1,282 points, 14th in school history. He also collected 934 career rebounds to finish as Lexington Catholic’s fourth all-time rebounder.
”I am very excited to a part of the Big Blue Nation,” Payne said in a May statement. “Over the last eight years, I’ve seen the best of the best players and teams in college basketball come through Lexington, and to be a part of the tradition is a dream come true. For Coach Cal to allow me this extraordinary opportunity, words can’t express my gratitude and appreciation.”
Payne decided to walk-on at Kentucky as opposed to looking at other options and likely would have had several more offers if not for the injury.
Nonetheless, Kentucky should be excited to have Payne on the roster, and it certainly means a lot for John Calipari and Kenny Payne to have both of their sons on this year’s team.