Even if last week’s final ticks of the clock during KHSAA dead period or the nearly triple-digit heat index said otherwise, basketball season was alive and well for at least three members of the county’s high school basketball community.
Scott County girls’ hoop standouts Malea Williams and Kenady Tompkins and Great Crossing boys’ cornerstone Michael McKenzie each brought home one of the top trophies from a national travel basketball showcase.
Williams, playing on a 17-and-under team for Kentucky Premier, led her team to the bronze medal at the Nike Elite Youth Basketball national championship in Chicago.
Premier put away opponents from Missouri, California and Texas in the early rounds before falling to a tough opponent from Iowa, 64-61.
The bluegrass bunch rallied for a 57-56 overtime triumph over California Stars in the third-place game.
Williams, a 6-foot-3 forward, averaged 13 points and 11 rebounds per game for Scott County during its 2018-19 run to the KHSAA state quarterfinals.
She has received NCAA Division I offers from a list of schools now in double digits, including Georgia, St. John’s. Vanderbilt, Boston College, Dayton, Marshall, Northern Kentucky, Austin Peay, Cincinnati, East Carolina and Florida Atlantic.
Her all-star team featured seven players from Kentucky, two from Indiana and another from Tennessee.
Tompkins, also representing Kentucky Premier on the McClain 2021 roster, paced her team to a title in its age bracket at the Battle of the Boro tournament in Louisville.
On the boys’ side, McKenzie steadily scored 20 points per game throughout the tournament for his Kentucky Select 11th Grade AAU team on its way to a fourth-place finish at nationals. That showcase was held at ESPN Wide World of Sports in Orlando, Florida. McKenzie, a star for SCHS at the junior varsity level the past three years, will be counted upon heavily to lead Great Crossing in its inaugural season.
KAL OAKES can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.