Sophomore point guard sensation Myck Kabongo of Newark (N.J.) St. Benedict's High School is celebrating his 16th birthday Monday with an anticipated commitment to a Big 12 school.
Texas has developed some elite point guards lately in T.J. Ford and D.J. Augustin, and Kabongo is ready to be the next.
"Myck wanted to make this happen today because it's his birthday," Kabongo's travel team coach Ro Russell of Grassroots Canada said. "He also really liked Wake Forest and Chris Paul. He went to Chris Paul's camp and liked the city and the way Wake Forest plays. But he just developed a great relationship with Coach [Rick] Barnes and [assistant] Coach Terry. Then on his unofficial visit he was really impressed with strength and conditioning coach Todd Wright."
Kabongo concurred with Russell concerning his recruiting process.
"I've been thinking about it a long time," Kabongo said. "I've been calling all the coaches recruiting me and just didn't feel the connection with the other coaches that I felt with Coach Barnes and the other Texas coaches. It felt like family with Texas.
"Also, the style of play fits me perfectly. They play fast and run the pick and roll. Texas has a proven system for developing great point guards."
The 6-foot-2, 160-pound Kabongo has the potential to be as good as any point guard to come out of Canada, Russell said.
"Steve Nash is the best ever, but you couldn't have predicted that until college," Russell said. "And Junior Cadougan has had a great run. But Myck has had the most success and visibility early playing for St. Benedict's and playing on the circuit. He has all the tools and opportunities to be right up there and maybe even beyond."
Presently, Kabongo has St. Benedict's sitting at 9-0 while averaging 11 points and six assists. Numbers don't tell the whole story, however, as Kabongo has leadership skills and intangibles well beyond his years.
He will be following high school and travel team teammate Tristan Thompson of the 2010 class to Austin, Texas, but Kabongo said that Thompson going to Texas played only a small part in his decision.
"Tristan going to Texas played a part, but I don't want anyone thinking that was the whole reason," he said. "I thought about Texas with Tristan not being there and knew that was where I wanted to be. There's no guarantee Tristan will be there when I get there, anyway."
Myck Kabongo scouting report:
Both a leader verbally and by example, Kabongo is the quintessential quarterback at the point guard position. He is quick with the ball and has a great feel for creating shots for teammates. He is also a terrific on the ball defender who seems to always be in the right position when away from the ball. Still in the process of proving himself as a scorer, Kabongo, nonetheless, commands respect from his defender.