UK Men's Basketball

Love of college atmosphere, BBN could keep Kevin Knox at UK, father says

Kevin Knox photos, from preseason to NCAA Tournament

Photos of Kevin Knox from the 2017-2018 Kentucky basketball season. Music: www.bensound.com
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Photos of Kevin Knox from the 2017-2018 Kentucky basketball season. Music: www.bensound.com

Freshman Kevin Knox led Kentucky in scoring. Conclusion: Kevin Knox will be a one-and-done player.

Not so fast, Knox’s father said Monday.

Kevin Knox Sr. said his son has expressed an interest in returning to UK for a sophomore season.

“‘Daddy, to be honest with you, I loved the whole college atmosphere,’” the elder Knox said his son told him. “‘It’s kind of why I came to Kentucky: to be on this kind of stage. And I like the BBN.’

“So I was, like, OK,” Knox Sr. said with a laugh. “Let’s sit down and let’s kind of talk about some things.”

The UK basketball player’s father referred to his son’s consideration of returning to UK next season as “unofficial thoughts.” The family sit-down and weighing of options will probably be this weekend, the father said.

“There’s no hurry for us,” Kevin Knox Sr. said. “He’s 18 years old. And these are some of the feelings he’s feeling. So I’ll listen to it and we’ll vet the situation and see what makes the most sense.”

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The Kentucky Wildcats celebrated after defeating Tennessee in the SEC Tournament finals in St. Louis. Alex Slitz aslitz@herald-leader.com

Making sure there was no misunderstanding, the elder Knox said the weighing of options does not mean his son will return to UK next season.

“I’m just saying we’re going through all of the actions, and we’ll just weigh them.”

The player’s father dismissed potential injury next season playing for Kentucky as a factor in the decision. He cited several players in the past who played multiple college seasons and then went on to successful NBA careers: Tim Duncan, Shaquille O’Neal, Penny Hardaway, Michael Jordan and James Worthy.

The possibility of injury is greater in football, yet players go through multiple seasons before entering the NFL Draft.

“Just because you’re not one-and-done doesn’t mean you’re not successful,” he said. “I’m just saying it’s not a foregone conclusion.”

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Kentucky forward Kevin Knox (5) went up for a dunk against Morehead State on Oct. 30, 2017, in Lexington. Michael Reaves

The stereotype of a player coming from poverty and needing to gain the instant wealth that comes with an NBA contract does not apply to Knox, his father said. Both parents have degrees from Florida State: Kevin Knox Sr. in communication and Michelle Knox in social work.

“We both work for a living,” Kevin Knox Sr. said. “My wife in the school system for 17 years. I’ve been with the Tampa Housing Authority for 10 years. … We’re not in a big rush to make that life decision.

“It’s up to Kevin.”

Why rush to make a life-changing decision, the elder Knox said.

“I love my Kentucky seats that they give parents,” he said with a chuckle. “I love the atmosphere. I’m pretty sure the BBN would love to have Kevin Knox back.

“I don’t think we should rush into this type of decision. I think we should take our time and weigh everything. If it’s the NBA, then we’ll go in that direction. If at that point it’s coming back, then hopefully the BBN will have us back.”

Jerry Tipton: 859-231-3227, @JerryTipton

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Kevin Knox at the 2017 UK Men's Basketball media day at the Joe Craft Center on Monday, Sept. 18, 2017, in Lexington. Mark Mahan

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