Kennedy Chandler was confident that it was all just a matter of time.
Sure, he had offers – Florida State, Ole Miss, Auburn, Missouri, among others – that most players only dream of getting but coming in to Nike Peach Jam two weeks ago, Chandler saw an opportunity to go from underrated to one of America’s most wanted prospects.
“This was my first year on the Nike circuit, but everyone knows Peach Jam is the biggest tournament of the summer,” Chandler said. “I knew that people just hadn’t seen enough of me. If I could help my team win it, everything else would take care of itself.”
Now a Peach Jam champion, Chandler, a rising junior point guard, has picked up new interest from the country’s best programs like North Carolina, Duke, Kentucky, Kansas, Louisville, Michigan and Arizona.
He also debuted at No. 14 in USA Today Sports’ Chosen 25 basketball player rankings for 2021.
It wasn’t just that he led Mokan Elite (Missouri) to the Peach Jam title, it’s how he did it.
Chandler had an epic battle against Team WhyNot (California) combo guard Jalen Green, who is ranked No. 3 in the Chosen 25 for 2020.
Green pumped in 27 points in the 85-84 overtime loss and Chandler scored 21 points, handed out nine assists and grabbed six rebounds in the win.
RELATED: NBA Mock Draft (HS Edition)
On one play, Chandler swiped a steal from Green as he was coming down the court, took it back the other way and threw down the one-hander over Green, who was trying for the block.
“For me it was all about proving what I knew I could do,” Chandler said. “Now to have all of these big time schools recruiting me is an honor.”
It also adds a new element of pressure.
Chandler’s dominance at Peach Jam has catapulted him to must-see TV status among college basketball’s most elite coaches.
“All of the schools are coming out to see me more, and it’s fun,” Chandler said. “I just stay within myself and play my game. The pressure is a real thing, but I just pray and tell myself, ‘You’ve got this! You’re gonna turn-up!’ I don’t try to impress the coaches. I’m myself. That’s gotten me this far.”
Follow Jason Jordan on Twitter: @JayJayUSATODAY