SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Game Elite’s (Fla.) Walker Kessler knows how it looks, but he’s adamant that, no, there is no Kessler pipeline leading to Georgia.
“No, nothing like that, “Kessler said with a laugh. “I definitely have some Georgia blood in me, but no pipeline.”
Kessler’s father Chad, late uncle Alec, and brother Houston all suited up for the Bulldogs. Alec went on to play in the NBA with the Miami Heat from 1990-94.
“I’ve been growing up with Georgia my whole life,” said Kessler, who led Game Elite with 20 points, 11 rebounds and three assists in a 67-59 win over Team Loaded (N.C.) on Saturday. “But that doesn’t mean that I’m going there; it doesn’t mean I’m not going there either, I’m just open to everyone at this point.”
That’s good news for schools like Duke, Michigan, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Vanderbilt and Auburn, who all remain in hot pursuit of the 6-foot-11 center.
Kessler recently had an in-home visit with Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski on Thursday.
“I kind of want to cut my list down to around six by mid-summer,” Kessler said. “Then I’d like to have my commitment out of the way before my senior year so I can just enjoy my last year without any pressure.”
This past season, Kessler led Woodward Academy (College Park, Ga.) to the state Final Four, averaging 21 points, 12 rebounds and six blocks a game.
Kessler said his goals for the spring/summer are to win the adidas Gauntlet and compete with USA Basketball after competing in its Junior National Camp in Minneapolis last week. He’ll learn over the next couple of weeks whether he’ll be invited back for the USA U17 tryouts in May.
“It would be an honor to play for my country, so we’ll see what happens,” Kessler said. “I’m just working on getting better on the court, but with my recruitment everyone just assumes that I’m going to Georgia. I hear that all the time, but my family and I want what’s best for me so we’re wide open to everyone.”
Follow Jason Jordan on Twitter: @JayJayUSATODAY