Longhorn fans fall in love with anything about 2011 basketball commit Myck
Kabongo, other than his tremendous game, it might very well be how much he
wants to be a part of the Texas program. Inside Texas caught up with Kabongo to discuss his future as a Longhorn, his relationship with Texas 2010 target Cory Joseph, and his upcoming season.
The No. 18-ranked prospect in the ESPNU Super 60, Myck Kabongo continues to make it very clear that when he committed to the Longhorns nearly one year ago, he had every intention to follow through with that verbal commitment. Nothing has changed as Kabongo is not only firmly committed, but has become quite an ambassador for Texas basketball despite having not yet suited up for the Longhorns.
The 6-foot-2, 160-pound point guard prospect continues to have nothing but positive things to say about, well, anything and everything related to Texas.
“When I committed to Texas, I intended to play for Texas. I’m a loyal person,” Kabongo said. “When the 2011-12 season rolls around, I’m going to be playing in a Texas uniform. All the other schools should back off because I’m a Longhorn. “
So with Kabongo being as loyally committed to Texas as a player could possibly be he continues to develop relationships with his future teammates as well as the Texas coaching staff prior to his arrival in Austin – which is still a little less than two years away.
That also includes building on relationships with potential teammates. One of Kabongo’s Grassroots Canada AAU teammates, 2010 guard prospect Cory Joseph, also happens to be the Horns top remaining priority in the upcoming signing class and one of Kabongo’s closest friends.
Kabongo is also close friends with 2010 Texas signee Tristan Thompson, a 6-foot-9 forward who is currently the No. 11-ranked prospect in the 2010 ESPNU 100. All three are Grassroots Canada teammates and while Kabongo continues to run the show at St. Benedict’s (N.J.) Prep, Joseph and Thompson have Findlay (Nev.) Prep rolling as one of the top high school teams in the country.
Despite being on opposite ends of the country, Kabongo continues to stay in touch with Joseph and Thompson on a regular basis and the possibilities of the three friends playing together wearing burnt orange seems very enticing.
“Tristan and I talk everyday either by phone or text. That’s my brother. Cory is my other brother too,” Kabongo said. “Whenever I talk to Tristan, (Joseph) is always around. We keep in close contact. It would be cool if Cory came to Texas. We have played together for a long time.”
Texas fans are hoping the trio can continue to play together for even longer as Joseph has Texas among his list of possible destinations. Kabongo said he continues to tell Joseph about the possibility of joining him as well as Thompson in Austin and would more than welcome the chance to bring the No. 30-ranked prospect in the 2010 ESPNU 100 into the fold.
“I tell Cory he needs to hurry up and commit to Texas so we can all play together. Anytime you have a lot of talent, it helps you get better,” Kabongo said. “I know those guys would push me and help me get better when I get to Texas if they are both there. I would love to play with Cory,”
It would be a blast for Kabongo to continue playing with Joseph at the next level, and on top of the relationships that he will have (and those he potentially could have) when he gets to Texas another strong bond lies between Kabongo and Texas head coach Rick Barnes.
Kabongo mentioned shortly after committing to Texas that Barnes was the main reason why he wanted to be a Longhorn. Over the years Barnes’ best teams at Texas have relied on strong point guard play (particularly from T.J. Ford and D.J. Augustin) and Kabongo will look to be the next in a growing line of great point guards on the 40 Acres.
“I try to call Coach Barnes two times a week,” said Kabongo, who is also very close with Texas assistant coach Rodney Terry. “I call Coach Terry a lot too. My relationship with Coach Barnes is like he is coaching me already. I ask him about things I need to improve on and implement them into my game.
“I’m learning now so he doesn’t have to teach me everything when I get to Texas,” Kabongo added. “I think I have a great relationship with Coach Barnes and Coach Terry,”
While everyone with an interest in Texas basketball can’t wait for Kabongo’s arrival on campus, he has his current sights set on enjoying a lot of success at St. Benedict’s over the next two seasons.
Coach Dan Hurley’s team got off to a great start in Monday’s season opener as Kabongo scored 11 points in a 79-52 win over Edison Academy. Kabongo said preseason practices were great and he feels St. Benedict’s is primed for big things this season.
“We are going to be good. We have one of the top freshmen in the nation and Coach Hurley always brings in guys,” Kabongo said. “It’s all about clicking and jelling. The young guys are good and are starting to buy in to what we do at the school. The transfers are doing well. The talent is there, no question about that.”
A new season also means a new role for Kabongo, a role that he has embraced.
“I’m an upperclassman and leader now,” Kabongo said. “I have to make sure my teammates feed off of me and everybody is happy. I have a bigger role with leadership this year.”
The Texas coaches will look for the leadership role to continue when Kabongo laces up his sneakers at the Erwin center – about 22 months from now.
Members Only: Myck Kabongo Getting Close with Elite 2011 PF Rakeem Christmas