On Tuesday afternoon, Keonte Kennedy of Westlake High School in Austin, TX (class of 2018), announced his verbal commitment to Xavier for basketball via Twitter. Kennedy is the second 2018 commit for the Musketeers, joining local native Jake Walter.
“It was easy,” Kennedy told Def Pen on his commitment.” It’s a great program. The coaching staff is outstanding, the players were good people, the opportunity to go play immediately was the best.”
Kennedy had received an offer from Xavier in late August and had made them a primary school in his top six in late September. Kennedy relayed to Def Pen that his final three included Michigan, Memphis, and of course Xavier. What separates the Musketeers from the other schools was their history of success.
“Their success speaks for itself,” said Kennedy.” Six out of the last 10 years they went to the Sweet Sixteen. Been to the tournament the last 27-29 years. I love winners.”
This past season on the Nike EYBL circuit, he averaged 11.1 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.1 steals. One of his greatest strengths is his ability to knock down shots from the three-point line. It’s an asset he realizes will help Xavier continue their winning ways.
“I will bring immediate scoring and shooting to replace [J.B.] Macura,” said Kennedy.
The departure of Macura, along with other seniors in Trevon Bluiett, Sean O’Mara and Kerem Kanter added the component of Kennedy playing immediately upon his arrival for the 2018-19 season. Along with his shooting, the 6-foot-5 guard is confident he’ll bring more to the team as a diverse player.
“I will bring a winning attitude and extreme passion for the game,” said Kennedy. “I can affect a game by more than scoring. I can rebound and defend as well.”
His versatility and confidence to contribute right away are what might set him apart from others on the team. With the way basketball as a whole is changing and evolving, the value of versatile players is soaring. It’s music to the ears of coaches when a player is diversified.
“The coaching staff is all on the same page and have common goals,” said Kennedy. “They are all really good dudes that I could talk to about anything and at the same time will push me hard.”
Kennedy is viewed as a three-star athlete by 24/7 Sports and Scout. ESPN has him in the four-star tier.