By RENALDO DORSETT
Tribune Sports Reporter
In his final season of prep basketball before his progression to the collegiate ranks, Kai Jones continues to build on his skillset and earn accolades.
Jones was named an all-tournament selection at the National Prep Invitational last week in Rhode Island, New York.
The Texas Longhorns class of 2019 was also named the Player of the Game in Brewster Academy’s 80-66 win over Thornlea Secondary School.
His performance drew several noteworthy accolades from scouts and recruiting analysis in attendance, all heralding different aspects of his game.
Brian Flinn, director of scouting/ national recruiting analyst for Elevate Hoops Report, said: “Kai Jones has been fantastic on both ends today, but has really shown the full arsenal on offense. Going to give Shaka [Smart] another potential NBA caliber talent next season.”
Wes Brown, former Texas Legends Scout. Said: “Kai Jones showed ELITE upside at 6’10 hitting a 3, great aggression, and finishing well in the post with contact.”
Elias Sbiet, Director of Basketball Recruitment at North Pole Hoops, a Canadian National Scouting Service said: “Great defensive presence from Kai Jones, made Thornlea second guess attacking the rim.
Analysis from PrepCircuit.com read: “Texas commit Kai Jones has some of the best potential throughout the class of 2019. With his size, length and athleticism Jones makes a serious impact on both ends. He also shows great flashes with his skill set as he is starting to knock down mid-range shots a bit more consistently.
Jones is a huge reason why Brewster Academy is one of the most talented teams throughout the nation.”
Since its inception, the National Prep School Invitational has produced over 1800 division I players, as well as, 84 players that went on to play in the NBA and countless players have played overseas. Last year’s NBA draft featured five first round picks who participated
in the event. Approximately 75-100 division one schools regularly attend the event as well as many division two, three, and juco teams, making it one of the most attended in-season events in the country.
The much-anticipated recruiting process for Jones came to an end in October when he committed to the Longhorns..
Jones, a consensus four-star recruit, chose the Longhorns over the Florida State Seminoles and Baylor Bears.
He became the latest Bahamian player to join either Longhorns basketball programme following Locksley Collie (1989-91), Dexter Cambridge (1990 - 92), Shaquille Cleare (2015 - 17) and Lashann Higgs (2015 – present).
“Texas showed serious interest in me before everything blew up in the summer. Coach Smart personally recruited me and expressed his interest in getting me to Texas. The basketball program and the academics are highly regarded and I felt that it would be a great next step for me,” Jones said, “I’m a very athletic player who plays with high energy and motor. I’m also very aggressive on both ends of the floor with a winning attitude and mentality.”
He was one of 11 new prospects on the list for ESPN’s latest updated rankings for the class of 2019.
The 6’10” 195 pound forward/center has been listed at no.45 overall with a grade of 88.
In addition to the aforementioned schools Jones received offers from some of the most elite Division I programmes in the NCAA including Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Iowa State, Oregon, Stanford, Syracuse, Vanderbilt and others.
A 4.0 student in the classroom, Jones transferred to Brewster Academy in Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire this academic year after spending the last season at Orlando Christian Prep in Orlando, Florida.
Last summer, he was invited to the NBA’s Global Camp in Treviso, Italy, and made an impression on some of the most notable names in the industry.
He last competed at home in November when Brewster Academy participated in November’s Caribbean Tip-Off Classic.