LEXINGTON, Ky. (UK Athletics) – Kentucky men’s basketball coach John Calipari continued to piece together his 2019-20 roster with the signing of Keion Brooks on Thursday. Brooks, a 6-foot-7 forward from Fort Wayne, Indiana, is the third freshman to ink with the Wildcats, joining guards Tyrese Maxey and Dontaie Allen, who signed with UK during the fall signing period.
Brooks, a 6-foot-7, 200-pound versatile forward, out of La Lumiere School in La Porte, Indiana, is the first freshman to sign a national letter of intent with the Wildcats during the spring signing period. Earlier Thursday, graduate transfer Nate Sestina also signed on to join the Wildcats in 2019-20.
A five-star prospect, Brooks will be eligible to play in the 2019-20 season.
“Keion is such a unique player because he has guard play-making ability in a 6-7, physical frame,” Calipari said. “In the last year at La Lumiere, he has physically improved leaps and bounds and is going to continue to get stronger. He helped his team to a 29-1 record, which shows you he’s a winner. We expect him to have a major impact on this program just like he did at La Lumiere. He’s a great kid from a great family and I can’t wait to get him here.”
Brooks is a versatile wing who began his career as a back-to-the-basket post player before expanding his game to include outside shooting and playmaking ability. A top-flight athlete who has great size and length, he rebounds at a high level and has the ability to guard multiple positions.
247 Sports lists him as the No. 13 overall player in the 2019 class, while Rivals has him among the top-30 prospects nationally and ESPN among the top 40. He averaged 20.1 points and 7.5 rebounds per game for La Lumiere, which appeared in the GEICO High School Nationals last week. In the semifinals game, Brooks made 9 of 16 shots, including two from long range, and scored a team-high 20 points. His third-quarter outburst helped La Lumiere come from behind. He added six rebounds and two assists in the one-point victory.
A USA Today All-USA Boys Basketball Honorable Mention selection, Brooks is slated to appear in the Jordan Brand Classic on April 20 in Las Vegas and the Allen Iverson Roundball Classic on April 26 in Souderton, Pennsylvania. He and Maxey will both suit up on the Away Team at the Jordan Brand Classic.
“At the end of the day, it just came down to the relationship I built with Coach Cal,” Brooks said at his announcement ceremony in March. “He’s always told me he can put me in a position to reach and achieve my dreams and my goals. When I sat down and talked to him for the last time, I felt very comfortable making my decision of going to Kentucky.”
With Brooks’ addition, Kentucky has signed 51 top-50 recruits, 42 top-25 players and 22 top-10 players (according to Rivals) in Calipari’s 11 recruiting classes at Kentucky.
In every season in the John Calipari era, the Wildcats have signed a top-three recruiting class according to the Recruiting Services Consensus Index, which tallies major recruiting rankings and plugs them into a formula to calculate a consensus ranking.
The spring signing period began Wednesday and lasts through May 15.