Austin Rivers, Anthony Davis and Michael Gilchrist have received the most attention amongst the Class of 2011 high school prospects, but you’d be crazy to overlook Myck Kabongo. The 6-2 point guard headed to Texas has a handle that can break down just about any defender, an innate ability to hit the open man and a lethal jumper with deep range that will cause issues for Big 12 opponents next year. We got up with the Toronto product this past weekend at the Jordan Brand Classic in Charlotte to discuss his off-court interests, his high school career – that included stops at two of the country’s premier programs – and his goals for next year.
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Dime: Myck, give me a feel for your personality. What do you like to do?
Myck Kabongo: Oh me, I’m just a chill guy. I love music. I listen to Drake – he’s from my town. And Big K.R.I.T., who a lot of people don’t know. But I love hip-hop. I’m a real underground guy I’d say, an R&B guy sometimes. And I love reading books and chilling with my family.
Dime: Do you play video games?
MK: A little bit. 2K, just a little bit.
Dime: Shifting to basketball, has it hit you yet that high school’s winding down?
MK: Yeah, it’s over. I knew coming into this weekend it’s gonna be over, and it’s been a fun ride. That chapter of my life is done, so I’m just excited for the next one.
Dime: You played at St. Benedict’s (Newark, N.J.) and Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.). How much of an advantage do you think playing at top-tier high school programs gives you for college?
MK: Playing at St. Benedict’s really prepared me for anything in life. I’m ready for anything. I mean, Coach [Danny] Hurley is the best coach I’ve ever played for so far. He just got me ready mentally and physically for anything. So I think I’m gonna be alright on the basketball side.
Dime: What’d you make of his decision to leave for Wagner College? Were you surprised at all?
MK: No, not at all. I’m happy for him. He’s a coach that can be coaching at this level and beyond. And he’s a great coach, and he knows his basketball. He’s played the game at a high level, so he knows what to expect from players and stuff, so I love Coach Hurley ’til the day I die.
Dime: How ready are you to get to Austin?
MK: Man, I’m so excited, because I know I’m gonna have people that’s gonna push me to get better. They expect a lot from m, and I love that. I love when a lot’s expected of you, so I’m just excited for it.
Dime: You, as well as current Texas freshmen Cory Joseph and Tristan Thompson are from the Toronto area. How big a factor was that in your decision?
MK: I mean, me and Tristan kind of committed at the same time, and Cory was after us, so it was a big factor for all three of us because we’d love to play with each other. Obviously those guys are gonna have a chance to look at this year going to the NBA. I have no idea what they’re gonna do yet, but if we get a chance to play with each other, it’s going to be great.
Dime: How long have you known those guys for?
MK: My whole life. We grew up with each other. We’re like all brothers, so we have, yeah, a brother bond.
Dime: What has Coach Rick Barnes told you your role is going to be?
MK: You know, he said I have to earn everything. Nothing’s going to be given to me. I have to come in next year and just work hard. I love when a coach says that. Everything you want, you gotta earn, so I’m going in there with a mindset that I’m not gonna start and I’ve got to work my way up.
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