By LARRY VAUGHT
Luke Kennard also has a 4.2 grade-point average. Mark Kennard says his wife, who played three sports, is the “grade-meister” at the house and always made sure academics remained a priority.
“I am so thankful and so appreciative of what he has. We have some schools that have offered we have not really looked at because we don’t want to waste anybody’s time. We have tried to be honest with schools, but we won’t narrow the list completely down until Luke is ready,” the father said.
Football practice is now started and Luke’s AAU play is over. However, he doesn’t stay out of the gym.
“During football, we try to get in the gym at least two or three times a week. Sometimes after football practice we do an hour workout,” Mark Kennard said. “On weekends get in the gym some to shoot. He has to. He can’t just take off three months. We are not like that.”
Luke Kennard is unique in that he throws a football right-handed and shoots basketball left-handed.
“That’s why he is so special in basketball,” Bales said. “He can truly use both hands. Most of the time in basketball, he actually finishes at the basket with his right hand. But in the right football system, he could be more of a NFL-type quarterback. He’s that good.”
Mark Kennard remembers when his son would shoot with both hands before he became all left-handed on the basketball court.
“When he was in kindergarten, he would always go to his left. If he was on the right side of the court, he would go all the way to the left side to drive,” Mark Kennard said. “I told him I was going to fix that and that he had to use both hands.”
The two worked on Luke learning to use his right hand to dribble three days a week.
“I would not let him use the left hand,” Mark said.
They worked out at the school, and Mark Kennard often would make his son dribble a basketball home right-handed while he drove in his truck.
“First, it was not that far,” Mark laughed and said. “But if he used his left hand, he had to start over. There were times he cried and did not want to do it. But now he can score with his right hand and score with his left hand. It made him a better player. It made him more versatile. He can play point guard or two guard. That’s what you have to be able to do to keep moving up. I always preached to him that he needed a mid-range game like Magic Johnson and Larry Bird had. He has a pretty good mid-range game to get with getting to the rim and shooting 3’s. But he’s still working.”