basketball Edit

Keon Ambrose-Hylton emerges as a national target

RANKINGS: 2019 Rivals150 | 2019 Team rankings | 2019 Position rankings

2020 Rivals150 | 2020 Position rankings

Top 75 of 2021

CHARLOTTE – Ranked No. 115 in the Rivals150, Keon Ambrose-Hylton is already an acclaimed prospect in the 2020 class, but he took things to another level over the weekend at the prestigious Basketball Without Borders Global Camp.

“First coming here and seeing Addison (Patterson), Keeshawn (Barthelemy), and Cashius (McNeilly), it was great to see all of my teammates from Canada but to also play all of these new players that I had played against in the past,” he said. “To compete against others from places like Australia and China but also to get some advice from the coaches that I never would have thought of, it really helped me with my basketball.”

His recruitment continues to improve as Illinois is the latest to offer, just as Ohio State, Tennessee, and Vanderbilt sit among the group of potential suitors.

IN HIS OWN WORDS

Illinois: “It was great to get that offer from them. I woke up and I looked at my phone and I saw a group text with me and Charles Bediako and it just said we just received an offer from Illinois. It was a great feeling because of all of the hardwork and dedication I have given is starting to pay off. I have been talking to them for the past three months and we text back and forth, talking about all of my skills and the campus there and I just hope I can visit there soon.”

Ohio State: “They are talking a lot to me. I think that I went to their campus three times now. Two for basketball games and one for a football game but yeah, the campus is beautiful and they are just talking to me about my ball skills and how I could play the four but also play all of the other positions on offense and on defense. They just love how I pick up my teammates with my energy off of the bench. They are looking forward to watching me and seeing me more.”

Tennessee: “I will be going to their game against Kentucky next month. I cannot wait for that and to see their campus. I am really excited for that. They have been telling me a lot and just saying that they really love my game and the way that I play in transition and with how I can play all of the positions. The last time that they saw me play, they said that I am a younger version of CJ Walker with how I am very versatile and can use my length to my advantage.”

Vanderbilt: “They are a really great program. Last year, whenever I was at Hamilton Heights, we watched Shai (Gilgeous-Alexander) whenever he played Vanderbilt and it was just a great game. Vanderbilt gave a lot of effort and a lot of energy and they almost won it. To go back there would be a very nice trip for me and I just hope that I could get that offer.”

RIVALS' REACTION & WHAT'S NEXT

Ambrose-Hylton stood out from the onset of his time at the BWB Global Camp with his energy and defensive versatility, facets of his game that he prides himself on.

“I definitely just try and impact my team on defense because I think that I can defend the one through five but also in transition defensive I can help out, too,” he said. “I can get boards but offensively, I move the ball around, I think that I am really good at corner 3s and catch-and-shoot 3s, and just doing all of the small things for my team.”

Expect many others to jump into the recruitment of the Canadian standout in the coming months but, in the meantime, he is hoping to take a few more unofficial visits.

“I will visit Tennessee and Ohio State, I go there frequently a lot, so I will probably go there again, and maybe Dayton,” Ambrose-Hylton said. “Mainly the ones that are close to me because my season is still going on and we have a lot of games, but definitely in the summer, I hope to see a lot of other places.”

The plan remains for Ambrose-Hylton to hit the Nike EYBL circuit this spring with the UPlay Canada program but there is a chance that he could reclassify and be found on a college playing floor next winter.

“I don’t know yet,” he said. “I have to look at it in the future because I have gotten a few calls from coaches as to if I were to reclassify into the 2019 class that they would love to have me but I don’t know yet and need to think if I would be ready for college emotionally and physically.”