Taveion Hollingsworth, Kentucky's Mr. Basketball, is the lone in-state representative in the Kentucky Derby Festival Classic this weekend.
The Lexington Dunbar product is the first Western Kentucky signee to participate in the all-star game - the nation's oldest continual game of its kind - and has the game worthy of joining the talented collection of players.
"It's going to be an exciting game," Hollingsworth said prior to the events first practice session on Thursday.
A Scout.com three-star prospect, the 6-foot-2 Hollingsworth has started preparations of joining the WKU program later this year. Head coach Rick Stansbury laid out some challenges for his future guard to focus on before arriving on The Hill.
"When I took my visit he told me everything that he wants me to do," he told WKU Insider, adding that "dribbling and working on my consistent shot" are the areas of focus as he prepares to become a Hilltopper.
The first Mr. Kentucky honoree from the Lexington area in two decades, something he describes as a "a big honor," Hollingsworth averaged 28.3 points and 6.8 rebounds per game for Lexington Dunbar this season. A 55 percent shooter from the field, he finished among the state's top 10 scorers this winter and finished his career as the all-time scoring record for Lexington players with 2,495 points.
He joins a recruiting class that currently ranks No. 11 in the nation by Scout.com. He said he speaks frequently with five-star center Mitchell Robinson and communications often with recent addition and fellow Kentuckian Jordan Brangers.
"I talk to him a lot," he said. "It was good that WKU recruited him. I tell to stay up on his game and be ready."
Also in the class is four-star guard Josh Anderson, another member of the Scout 100, and recent Kentucky Sweet 16 standout Jake Ohmer of Scott High School.
"We'll make a big impact," Hollingsworth said. "Nobody probably expects us to do anything, but we'll come in good and compete with some good teams."
Hollingsworth was honored as the most valuable player at the Ohio-Kentucky All-Star Game after scoring 19 points in a victory earlier this month.