Kabongo a Leader

St. Benedict Prep (N.J.) senior-to-be Myck Kabongo said that leadership was the most important attribute for any point guard. So it goes without saying that Kabongo, a five-star prospect rated as the No. 2 point guard in the country has leadership in spades.

The Texas commitment was awarded for his leadership at the recent NBA Camp, receiving the camp's leadership award.

"It was a great honor," Kabongo said. "I was just trying to be a point guard. I took it upon myself to be a leader. I wanted to show up, to not talk about it, but to be about it. I tried to lead by setting an example.

"I had a great team, first of all, and that's one of the big reasons I feel like I played well at the camp," Kabongo said. "At camps, you aren't really sure who your teammates are going to be, and everybody's a different type of player, so it can be hard to mesh with a group of guys you've never played with before. But we had a great team, with great teammates."

The always-humble Kabongo said it was a point guard's job to run a team, and added that every point guard should carry themselves as a leader on and off the court.

That leadership led to some big-time offers, though it didn't take long for Kabongo to commit to Texas, pulling the trigger in January of 2009.

"It was an easy choice," Kabongo said. "It's one of the best colleges in America.

"But really, I think a lot of it was my relationship with Coach (Rick) Barnes and the coaching staff," Kabongo said. "My relationship with Coach Barnes is amazing. He always takes the time to talk to me and pick up whenever I call. We talk about everything, from basketball to stuff off the court. I was also really drawn to how close the team was."

Kabongo also said he hoped to get to play alongside 2010 signees Tristan Thompson and Cory Joseph.

But despite Kabongo's national ranking, he said he views himself as far from a finished product.

"I'm just a guy that is still in the works of working on his game," Kabongo said. "I feel like I'm productive, I play hard, give 110 percent and my desire to win is off the charts. I'm just a point guard. Whatever the coach needs me to do, I'll do. If he tells me we need me to get 10 rebounds and 10 assists for us to win, I'll do it. If he needs me to score, I'll score. I'll do whatever needs to be done.

"I've put in a lot of work to get here. When my friends have free time, they might want to go rent a movie, but I'll say I have to go to the gym to get shots up to work on my handle," Kabongo said. "I thought my work would pay off one day, and I think it's starting to show."

But Kabongo said he wasn't satisfied with being a top-notch high school player.

"There are a lot of people who are good at this stage, but who fall off when they get to college. I don't want to be like that," Kabongo said. "I'm not a finished product by any means, and I'm not satisfied."

Kabongo is currently playing for the Canadian team at the FIBA Americas U18 Championship. His team finished second in Group A after falling to Brazil by five points, 83-78. Kabongo scored 20 points and grabbed 12 rebounds. His all-around effort was demonstrated through group play, with Kabongo finishing second on the team in scoring, second in rebounds and first in assists.

Team Canada lost its semifinal game, falling to the United States 122-89. The win for the USA put the American team in the final against Brazil, while Canada will play Argentina for the bronze medal. Kabongo put in a strong effort in the loss, scoring 32 points, pulling seven rebounds and dishing out nine assists.

"I'm having a great time," Kabongo said. "I just want to keep working hard, keep trying to improve and keep trying to win."


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