To say it’s good to be Luke Kennard may be an understatement. Often
times confused with Justin Bieber and at times with a following that
resembles the Beatles, Kennard is a polarizing figure. Remarkably, he took his iconic status to a new level this past week at the Peach Jam in North Augusta, South Carolina.
To say it’s good to be Luke Kennard may be an understatement. Often times confused with Justin Bieber and at times his following can resemble the Beatles, Kennard is a polarizing figure in a city known for being the world’s first Garbage Recycling Plant.
Kennard, who is a stud in the Class of 2015 on the hardwood at Franklin High School and with his King James Shooting Stars travel team, took his iconic status to a new level this past week at the Peach Jam in North Augusta, South Carolina.
Arguably the biggest travel tournament of the year, it was only fitting that Kennard would rise to the occasion as he has always done. Following the five-day event, Kennard received three new official offers.
The 6-foot-5 lefty received offers from Kentucky, Michigan State, and Duke. Since we have known Luke, he has always been a big UK fan, but his dad said that doesn’t mean everyone else should just pack up and go home.
“Luke has developed a lot of good relationships with other schools,” noted Mark Kennard. “He wants to know if he will fit in the program and within the system. He wants to play wherever he goes. All the schools that offered are great programs. They have great coaches, and this won’t be an easy choice.”
Kennard’s father believes a decision will be made before his senior year.
“We don’t want to get overburdened by all of this,” Kennard said. “We tried to sit down and come up with a list of about 10 to 12 schools. We eventually want to cut that list to 6 to 8 or less than that. This will all strictly be Luke’s decision.”
Kennard became just the sixth kid to receive an offer from Kentucky in the Class of 2015.
Luke and his King James Teammates just got back from North Augusta today following a 16U semifinals loss to a loaded Arkansas Wings squad.
“We didn’t shoot very well against them,” Kennard’s father mentioned. “It was a great tournament and just tons of coaches. Luke really had a great tournament.”
The Franklin star was followed by Duke, Florida, Kentucky, North Carolina, Louisville, Ohio State, Michigan, and Indiana among others throughout the week.
UNC, Louisville, and Florida could be close to offering as well.
Ohio State, Michigan, Indiana, Notre Dame, Butler, Dayton, Iowa, Cincinnati, Xavier, West Virginia, Penn State, and Miami (OH) have all offered as well.
Kennard will perform in a 7-on-7 with the football team tonight before taking Tuesday off followed by training on Wednesday. The schedule picks back up on Thursday as Kennard will head to Chicago for the Summer Jam and then on to Orlando for the AAU Nationals, which should run him right into football season.
“He’s playing football,” his father stated. “He loves to play and loves the game.”
Kennard, who is a lefty on the basketball court, plays quarterback and throws the pigskin right-handed. The squad went (8-3) a year ago, and he currently owns an offer from Louisville on the gridiron.
For a city with just around 12,000 people, it’s not every year the Warren County school gets to claim a star of Kennard’s caliber. For his father, it’s all been like a dream.
“Oh man, I don’t even know if it’s hit me,” said the former Georgetown College standout. “I’m very proud of Luke. He was blessed with a lot of talent, but he has put a lot of time into this. I can remember him at two or three years old when I was coaching, dribbling around.”
Kennard commented on the latest offers.
“It was a very proud moment. It’s unbelievable. These are some of the greatest coaches of all-time. You love to see your children do well. He is very excited. He is very humble. He doesn’t say much about things, and that’s the way I want him to be. After he got his offer from Ohio State, it was like two or three days before anyone at his school found out about it.”
The circus really started when Luke came into high school, but his father has always reminded him to stay humble and give back.
“I’ve always wanted him to give back,” the 1981 Franklin all-state basketball player noted. “I want him to appreciate where he has come from and continue to stay humble. This community has been phenomenal to Luke. He loves them and I believe they love him. Luke loves being around little kids and playing basketball with them. He watches them play, and people love that about him. The following the team gets and the way they embrace him, is just incredible.”
In today’s basketball world, kids with Luke’s talent are jumping around from school-to-school and state-to-state playing for prep schools, powerhouse high schools, and often forgetting what makes high school basketball so great.
“We could have sent Luke to several different schools over the years, but this is where we want to be,” Kennard’s father relayed passionately. “He will graduate from Franklin.”
Kennard’s teams have enjoyed tons of success his first two seasons, and under head coach Brian Bales at Franklin, there should be a lot more winning the final two campaigns.
“Luke has been blessed with some great talent around him in his first two seasons,” Kennard said. “We’ve had big kids and last year he played alongside a talented guard in Travis Lakins, who is going to Ohio State for baseball.”
Much like the Beatles and Justin Bieber, if you want to get there to see them, we would highly advise arriving early. Several Franklin games were sold out by 3:30 in the afternoon on game days.
Regardless of all the attention, we would be very surprised if Kennard doesn’t remain humble and hungry, while letting others talk about his immense talent.
With every win, point, and offer that piles up, the Luke Kennard groupies will continue to grow. The people of Franklin have “Kennard fever.”
2013 Ohio HS Football Preview