Kennard staying busy, looking ahead
Sometime this month, Luke Kennard might take a few days to live like a normal high school senior-to-be lives.
He’s most certainly not that. But Ohio’s Mr. Basketball has his college recruiting out of the way, he’s been busy in Colorado Spring with USA Basketball under-18 national team trials.
When he returns to Franklin, Ohio, he won’t be fielding recruiting calls or working on his 4.0 GPA. It’s summertime, and Kennard plans to enjoy it.
"Life has changed since I picked Duke (in late March)," Kennard said in an interview last month. "I’m just enjoying myself. The recruiting process is pretty much over. I kind of have a lot more time on my hands now. My phone has a lot more battery.
"I enjoyed the process, getting to know the coaches. It was time consuming but it was a privilege."
Kennard had been planning to make a decision around now, but after taking an official visit to Duke for the Blue Devils’ regular-season finale vs. North Carolina, he came home knowing he’d found the right place.
"I just knew," he said. "I got there, ate with the coaches, hung out with the players, toured the campus. It’s beautiful there. Coach K (Mike Krzyzewski) is the best coach in the world. That and the academic part, and I just thought it was right.
"I didn’t need to take any other official visits. What Coach K and Duke are about is what’s for me. I just feel like I fit there."
Kennard, who averaged 40 points and 10 rebounds per game last season, was also strongly considering Kentucky and Ohio State.
"I took lots of unofficial (visits), I thank everyone who recruited me and I really did enjoy it, but Duke just fit me best," he said.
Kennard made the final 15 players in Colorado Springs this week among those vying for a spot with the under-18 national team, coached by Florida’s Billy Donovan. Those making the team will compete in the world championships, also in Colorado Springs, starting next month.
There’s another decision looming for Kennard. Also a gifted football player — he’s a right-handed quarterback but a left-handed basketball player — he’ll eventually have to decide on whether or not he’ll play this fall for Franklin. He threw for 2,331 yards and 26 touchdowns and rushed for 214 yards and 4 touchdowns in helping the Wildcats to the state playoffs last season.
"That’s still a decision to be made," he said. "It will be made pretty soon. I’ll see how my body feels once I get back.
"I’m just kind of just holding off. I really want to play. I do. I enjoy it. My friends play and I’ve always loved football. I just have to decide if taking that time in the gym to work on basketball is better for me."