UK Recruiting

New UK basketball signee showed Calipari he’s a ‘winner’ with stellar play as senior

Keion Brooks says Calipari has big plans for him

Five-star basketball recruit Keion Brooks says UK Coach John Calipari is telling him he could play just like Kevin Knox did for the Wildcats.
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Five-star basketball recruit Keion Brooks says UK Coach John Calipari is telling him he could play just like Kevin Knox did for the Wildcats.

UK announced the signing of five-star basketball prospect Keion Brooks on Thursday, officially adding another member to its 2019 recruiting class.

Brooks — a 6-foot-7 forward from Fort Wayne, Ind. — committed to Kentucky last month, picking the Wildcats over the home-state Hoosiers to join fall signees Tyrese Maxey and Dontaie Allen, as well as longtime commitment Kahlil Whitney, in UK’s recruiting class.

The spring signing period started Wednesday, and UK Coach John Calipari welcomed the official addition of Brooks to his program a day later.

“Keion is such a unique player because he has guard play-making ability in a 6-7, physical frame,” Calipari said. “In the last year at La Lumiere, he has physically improved leaps and bounds and is going to continue to get stronger. He helped his team to a (30-1) record, which shows you he’s a winner. We expect him to have a major impact on this program just like he did at La Lumiere. He’s a great kid from a great family and I can’t wait to get him here.”

247Sports ranks Brooks as the No. 13 overall prospect in the 2019 class, and he received a scholarship offer from the Wildcats in the fall of 2017, making him one of the first major targets for Kentucky in his age group.

Brooks averaged 20.1 points and 7.5 rebounds per game this season, leading La Lumiere (Ind.) to a 30-1 record and a spot in the national high school championship game. He will play in the Jordan Brand Classic all-star game Saturday and is expected to be an immediate impact player at Kentucky next season.

“At the end of the day, it just came down to the relationship I built with Coach Cal,” Brooks said at his announcement ceremony in March. “He’s always told me he can put me in a position to reach and achieve my dreams and my goals. When I sat down and talked to him for the last time, I felt very comfortable making my decision of going to Kentucky.”

Whitney, who committed to UK last fall, is expected to officially sign with the Cats at his former elementary school in Chicago on May 3. Kentucky will also welcome in graduate transfer Nate Sestina, a standout power forward at Bucknell this past season, as part of its incoming group of players. Sestina also signed with UK on Thursday.

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