BW: Kenny Belton Spotlight

HAMPTON, Va. --- Kenny Belton will be the first to tell you he's not good enough. He knows he's still young and will need to work hard to improve his game enough to earn offers from the top schools in the ACC. He's not there – yet.

The 6-8, 225-pound sophomore power forward from Salem, Va. is one of the youngest players on the loaded Boo Williams 17-under AAU team and therefore he didn't see the floor until there were less than two minutes remaining in the game Friday night.

In those two minutes he scored four points (including the emphatic dunk pictured).

"When you play with guys that are some of the best in the country, that's the sacrifice you've got to make early on," Belton said postgame. "If I'm playing at a top level, I'll get there eventually. I'm going to get there."

His offense isn't as fluid as it'll need to be, but he's well built and plays strong in the post. After one look at him it's hard to believe he's only 15 years old.

"I've always been young and that's the only thing people see me as – a young basketball player," said Belton, adding he expects to grow to 6-10. "I'm 15 years old now and I want people to see more than just my age – I want them to see that I can actually play."

His sophomore season at Salem HS certainly proved that, with an endless stream of double-doubles.

North Carolina took notice about a year ago, inviting Belton to Chapel Hill to take in various events, including Late Night with Roy, a couple of basketball games and a football game where he and his father got to sit with Roy Williams.

"He just gives me words of encouragement," Belton said of his talks with Williams. "It's great going to a college like North Carolina, visiting big time D-I schools so you can see where you want to be at in the future."

Belton hopes to play in the ACC and has also visited Wake Forest, NC State and Virginia Tech.

To reach that level will take continued improvement, but he's clearly benefiting from playing with the Boo Williams team and practicing against such teammates as ferocious junior rebounder Duke Crews.

"I'm the one that has to guard him in practice," Belton said. "It helps me out tremendously playing against somebody like that. It makes you better. If you can hang with those guys, you know you can hang with anyone."

Within the next week or two Belton said he and his family will map out his summer schedule, in terms of camps (he's got an invite to the Nike All-American Camp), tournaments and school visits.

In the meantime, he'll continue to work on his game.

"A lot more work," he stressed. "I have a vision of where I want to get to and obviously I still have a lot of work to do, but I'm going to get there.

"I've got a lot of developing to do – I know that. But I think I'm going to sneak up on a lot of people."

Kenny Belton Profile

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