Class of 2016 Mario Kegler Update

Although only in the 8th grade, Powell Middle School basketball player Mario Kegler has already been noticed by one of the top AAU programs in Mississippi, MBA Hoops.

According to MBA Hoops coach Omhar Carter, Mario an exceptional talent for a 14-year-old.

"Mario stands 6-6 and is able to handle the ball, bring it up the floor and create his own shots," said Carter. "He also has an uncanny knock for scoring. He's a throwback player from the old school. He plays hard, he defends, he rebounds well. When you watch him in a game, it's not just one thing that he does but his overall play. Being able to play as well as he does at 14-years-old is great."

The humble youngster isn't as talkative about his offensive talents.

"I think my best is trying to get to the basket and scoring," said Mario. "I am working on my jumper and creating my own shot."

He does, however, take great pride in his defensive play.

"I am a really good defensive player," said Mario. "I get after my man when he tries to get to the basket."

Although not intimidated by anyone on the court, playing AAU ball for the first time was a little intimidating for the youngster.

"When I first started (AAU) I didn't know if I was going to make it," said Mario. "But I kept working hard and got better. Now I feel like I will make it."

One of the benefits of playing AAU ball is the traveling, something that Mario Kegler has grown to love.

"I've traveled three times (with MBA Hoops)," said the 6-6 youngster. "When we first started traveling I really liked it. Now, I love to travel. We've traveled three different times. We've gone to Orlando, Florida, New Orleans and Arkansas. Sometimes, they will let us go to the mall when we travel. But if we lose, they put us to work."

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Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the website, the source for Mississippi State sports on sports network. You can contact him by emailing

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