After a summer of traveling the country with their AAU teams, a handful of the region’s top high school basketball prospects will be mostly honing their skills in empty gyms until school seasons this winter.
And they won’t have any shortage of big decisions weighing on their minds.
While many of the top area girls basketball players have committed to college before their senior years, the boys are being more deliberate.
The area’s top senior prospect, Willard’s Chris Kendrix, said Friday he intends to make a decision in November after using up all five of his allotted official campus visits this fall.
“I want to use all five, just to see where I’d like to end up,” said Kendrix, a 6-foot-5 wing player, adding Missouri State is the only school he will surely visit.
In addition to MSU, Kendrix said he has offers from Missouri-Kansas City, Southeast Missouri State and Miami (Ohio), in addition to strong interest from larger schools such as Kansas State, Colorado and Tulsa.
Kendrix and MoKan Elite finished their summer slate last week in Kansas City, the wing’s second summer with the Kansas City AAU club.
“This whole AAU MoKan program was just basically a family,” the All-Ozarks player said. “Any of them would probably say the same thing. We all grew bonds with each other. It was more of a family thing than just an AAU team.”
Kendrix said he constantly texts and Snapchats with his teammates, which include Joplin senior Charlie Brown and a pair of players from Waynesville — senior Kellieon Williams and junior Juwan Morgan.
Kendrix said the 6-foot-7 Morgan had something of a breakout summer for MoKan and is a player to watch locally moving forward.
While top girls players like Parkview’s Aubrey Buckley (Missouri State) and Marshfield’s Lauren Aldridge (Kansas) have made their decisions heading into senior year, Ozark’s Hannah Cook is still undecided.
The All-Ozarks player had her decision down to Creighton and MSU, but decided to take more time after getting an offer from Alabama late in her AAU season for the Missouri Valley Eclipse.