Edmond Memorial forward Kristian Doolittle has always known how to get his teammates involved and be a good teammate.
The 2016 Oklahoma men’s basketball signee has never had a problem with that – averaging 3.3 assists per game last season while helping lead Edmond Memorial to the 6A state semifinals.
He’s played alongside great players his entire life and grew up in at least the semi-shadow of talent older brother Kameron Doolittle, who plays football for Oklahoma State. That’s allowed him to become what Edmond Memorial coach Shane Cowherd called an “unbelievable teammate.”
Maybe it’s always held him back a little too, not allowing Doolittle to become a dominant player who takes over games at will.
That’s his focus over the next 14 months before heading to Oklahoma.
“I want to leave no doubt. I don’t want to leave a comparison about who should be No. 1,” Doolittle said. “I want it to be outright that Kristian Doolittle was No. 1.
“That’s going to take effort and dedication that I will put in during the summer and before the season starts. I just have to work hard every game and everything should fall into place.”
Doolittle has the baseline for improvement. This season, he became a dominant rebounder. He led Class 6A in rebounding and averaged 11.2 per game while setting the single-season school record for total boards.
He also had 16.6 points per game and shot 60 percent from the field.
His coach wants the same thing for next season.
“He’s just now figuring out that he’s one of the best players, if not the best player, in the state,” Cowherd said. “I want him to start playing with that urgency and sense of commitment of upholding the values of being the best player.
“When you’re the best player on a team, you have to be the best player in practice every day.”
Doolittle also took his skills to the next level in terms of passing and bell handling. It’s still a waiting game to see where Doolittle will play at Oklahoma. Currently standing 6-foot-6, Doolittle is split between a wing and a post.
Should Doolittle grow two more inches, he’ll be a perfect fit inside for Oklahoma and someone who could stretch the floor as a power forward.
There’s still something to prove, though.
“This summer, I want to make a name for myself,” Doolittle said. “I know I’m low on the radar. I want to be able to show that I’m capable of playing and compete with the best of the best. I just want to be able to represent OU and show that I’m pretty good and they’ll have something to look forward to when I come.”
Doolittle will yet again be surrounded by a plethora of talented Division-I prospects while playing for Athlete’s First this summer. The roster includes Jakolby Long, Austin Meyer, Marcus Dickinson and Michael Speight.
There will be a ton of great players on the court, just like this high school season when Doolittle played alongside Curran Scott. Like high school though, there won’t be much doubt that Doolittle will be the focus.
“He understands and recognizes that he’s on a level that others just aren’t,” Cowherd said. “He needs to be able to bring that kind of commitment throughout the grind of an entire season.”
Doolittle wants to be considered one of the best players in Edmond Memorial history by the time his career ends next spring. He said he needs to improve his attitude, mellowing out at times, and serve as a captain – translating messages between his teammates and coaches.
He wants to prove he’s the best.
“He understands and recognizes that he’s on a level that other just aren’t,” Cowherd said.