CHICAGO -- As one of two Duke commits in the McDonald's All-American game, five-star shooting guard Luke Kennard is having a great time with the journey. The Ohio native sat down with TDD to talk over his week in Chicago.
"It's been a blast. I've had a great time, not just on the court but off," Kennard said to TDD. "The experiences we've had just as a group, going to the Ronald McDonald House and taking back [with you] how truly blessed you are and how great you have it. And then being back on the court, through the practices, they're really intense and really tough. Learning from some great coaches, playing against some of the best players in the nation. Taking that and being able to work on your game."
Kennard has taken away a lot from the McDonald's All-American practices, where he's on the East team along with players like Ben Simmons and Jaylen Brown. Seeing how those guys work has motivated Kennard to elevate his play in front of the scouts this week.
"You can really see what you need to work on as a player. In the practices it's really competitive," Kennard said. "All the guys here, they're really competitive. They wouldn't be here if they weren't competitive. That's why they're some of the best in the nation. They don't like to lose. Seeing how competitive they really are, it's just great being here with all of these guys. Seeing how they prepare and how they play.
Being at the McDonald's All-American game has also given Kennard, and fellow Duke commit Chase Jeter, the chance to talk with Duke targets in the game like Brandon Ingram and Caleb Swanigan.
"We've been in their ear quite a bit. Brandon Ingram and Caleb Swanigan, we've talked to them a lot. We're trying our hardest. They're not giving us an answer yet, but we'll see how it goes," Kennard said.
With the McDonald's festivities finishing up, Kennard has a busy April to complete before he tries out for the USA Basketball U19 team in June. Kennard hopes to once again represent his country next summer as the U19 World Championships are held in Greece. Kennard is itching to get to campus, but those plans might be delayed a bit by the potential USA commitment.
"After this I go to the Nike Hoop Summit, Jordan Brand Classic, then I'm off for May," Kennard said. "Then this June, I have USA Basketball for the U19 team. Most likely go there in June. Then if I make that, they go to Greece. I'd be looking to go to Duke, if I made [USA Basketball] I'd look to go early July, late June."
But before he steps foot on campus for his freshman season, Kennard is focused on the current Blue Devil run to the Final Four. Like many Duke fans, Kennard has been fixated on the way the team has come together over the last few weeks in March.
Although he realizes he might have big shoes to fill next season, Kennard is fine with establishing his own legacy when he gets to campus.
"It's unbelievable," Kennard said of the run. "I don't know how many people are going to stay or are going to go to the draft. A couple might make that decision to go. Then they lose a senior in Quinn Cook. Knowing the run that they've made, I don't think it puts added pressure on us but I think we want to keep that going next year."
Kennard has a busy summer planned before Duke
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