Franklin’s Kennard Ohio’s Top 2015 prospect?

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Franklin PG Luke Kennard

The battle to be Ohio’s top basketball prospect for 2015 seems likes a two-man race between Franklin 6-5 wing Luke Kennard and Cleveland Villa Angela-St. Joseph 6-8 power forward Carlton Bragg.
Kennard
was in action this past weekend at the All-Ohio Super Sixteen event in
Columbus.


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The battle to be Ohio’s top basketball prospect for 2015 seems likes a two-man race between Franklin 6-5 wing Luke Kennard and Cleveland Villa Angela-St. Joseph 6-8 power forward Carlton Bragg.

Kennard
was in action this past weekend at the All-Ohio Super Sixteen event in
Columbus. He and teammates A.J. Harris and top 2016 prospect V.J. King
of Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary helped lead the King James Shooting Stars
win the 16-and-under championship. They defeated the host All-Ohio Red
team 71-63 in the title game.

Kennard had 10 points in that win. He also had 10 points –
including two made three-pointers – in an earlier tournament match-up
against another King James squad. Beating All-Ohio Red is considered a
big win for King James, which hopes to contend for some national AAU
honors this summer.

“We have a lot of talented kids,” Kennard said. “Sometimes we
will play team ball and sometimes we don’t. But when we do, we know we
can be one of the top teams in the country.”

According to the latest 247Sports.com ratings, Kennard is ranked
45th overall nationally, the nation’s No. 4 shooting guard and Ohio’s
No. 2 prospect (behind Bragg) in the 2015 class.

He hails from Franklin, located off I-75 about halfway between
Dayton and Cincinnati. He has already enjoyed two fine years on the
varsity team there. He averaged 16.6 points per game as a freshman.

Kennard came back as a sophomore and averaged 27.9 points, 10.4
rebounds and 4.8 assists in earning Division II state player of the year
honors. He also hit 40 percent of his three-pointers and 82 percent of
his free throws. For the year, he had nine double-doubles. He had a high
game of 43 points against a team from Orem, Utah, at a December event.
That was one of five games where he at least scored 30 points.

He had 21 points in Franklin’s 66-63 district semifinal loss to
defending state champion Dayton Dunbar. That loss ended Franklin’s
season at 19-4 overall. The Wildcats were a perfect 12-0 in Southwestern
Buckeye League play.

Kennard talked about what he wants to accomplish this spring and summer.

“I
just want to work on my game,” he said. “My high school is going to a
lot of team camps. We’re getting in the gym as much as we can. I also
play football.”

Yes, Kennard is a two-sport standout. As a sophomore, he threw
for 1,744 yards and 24 touchdowns against seven interceptions. Franklin
went 10-2, advancing to the regional semifinals of the Division II
playoffs.

“Our football team is going to be pretty good this year,” Kennard
said. “My coaches say that helps me be more aggressive in basketball. I
think it helps me a little bit.”

Kennard was on the road with King James during the April observation period for college coaches.

“They say I can handle the ball pretty well and I can shoot from a
lot of places on the court,” Kennard said. “I can get to the basket and
create shots for other teammates as well.”

This is Kennard’s second year in the King James program. That
program is led by St. Vincent-St. Mary head coach Dru Joyce, who coached
LeBron James in high school. He discussed what makes Kennard a special
player.

“Coach (Glenn) Galemmo brought the team with Luke over to our
program last year,” Joyce said. “Luke shoots the ball well. He is more
athletic than people want to credit him. He can get to the basket and
finish.

“He is a gym rat. He wants to be in the gym and he wants to get better. Those are the kind of guys you want.”

Schools have taken notice. Kennard’s early list of offers
includes Ohio State, Indiana, Michigan, Butler, Dayton, Xavier and West
Virginia. He is also hearing from Cincinnati, Louisville, Michigan,
Notre Dame, Wisconsin and others.

Here were comments from Kennard on several of his top choices:

* On Ohio State – “Their coaching staff is unbelievable. I
love Coach Matta and the assistant coaches. They just built a new
practice facility which will be very nice. We are going to go up there
early this summer.”

* On Indiana – “Again, the coaching staff is great. I
went over there and played open gym with them this past year. It was
awesome. You can just tell how he keeps the team together and they are
like brothers to each other.”

* On West Virginia – “Coach Huggins is a great guy. I
love him a lot. They have a facility that has everything in it. It may
be one of the best in the country. It’s unbelievable.”

* On Michigan – “We rooted for them the entire
tournament. Their style of play … they say I would fit in perfectly
there and I could see myself there.”

Kennard said he is in no hurry to make a decision.

“I will start narrowing it down in the next year,” he said. “I will probably wait until my senior year to make a decision.”

That King James squad will be off this weekend before likely
appearing at the state AAU tournament May 31-June 2 in Cincinnati.
Kennard will then likely participate in the Nike Elite 100 camp for
underclassmen June 6-9 in St. Louis. After that, he will spend most of
June with his high school team.

King James will reconvene in July for the Nike Elite Youth
Basketball League finals at the Peach Jam before they play in an event
in Chicago and the AAU 16-and-under national championship in Orlando.

And, about that time (in late July), it will be time for Kennard
to get started with Franklin’s football team. Sounds like he will be
keeping busy.

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2013 Ohio HS Football Preview

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