Monday, March 8th, 2010 at 11:42 am  |  51 responses

Brandon Knight McDonald’s All-American Diary 1

Mrs. Knight starts things off.

Brandon Knight, one of the top prep guards in the country, hasn’t decided what college he’ll be attending this coming Fall. But he does know where he’ll be on the last day of March: in Columbus, playing alongside two dozen of his best peers in the McDonald’s All-American game.

Between now and March 31, the 6-4 Knight has a lot going on.

Carrying a sky high scoring average and GPA, Knight, a true scholar-athlete, will find out on March 10 if he was named the Morgan Wooten High School Player of the Year. Sometime before then, he’ll play his last varsity high school game in Florida. And, while deciding between the likes of Florida, Kansas, Kentucky, Miami, Syracuse and UConn, in a great look for SLAM regulars, during the next few weeks leading up to the McDonald’s game, Brandon Knight will be keeping a journal documenting his last days as a high school hooper for us.

As you read this, Knight is headed home from the state finals, where his Pine Crest team suffered a tough loss in the 3A final. Being that he is coming off of such a heartbreaking end to his senior season, we excused Knight from having to write his inaugural journal entry today. Fret not, though; we’re not all together empty-handed. Something of a writer herself, Mrs. Turgenia Knight, Brandon’s mom, has graciously agreed to pen a little something in her son’s stead.

Who’s more qualified to weigh in on the experience of a top-tiered high school talent–on the court and in the classroom–than their fam? Who better to weigh in on the behind-the-scene happenings of a two-time state champ? Who better to weigh in on a teenager than their mom? In most cases, Brandon’s included, no one.

Next week you’ll hear from the young, bright Knight. But for now, with many, many thanks going out to her, I’d like to introduce the Mrs. Knight–Tzvi Twersky

Five, four, three, two….one. As the buzzer sounded the crowed stood up and began to clap wildly. Somewhere in the corner Pine Crest students began to chant Brandon’s initials and the rest of the fans joined in, “BK…BK…BK…”

And so it was over, just like that my son’s high school career had ended. As I looked at Brandon limping to the center of the court (with a pulled groin) to accept his runner-up medal in The State Championship game, I cried. It was at that moment that it hit me–not the fact that we had lost the state championship, but rather the fact that my son would never play in another high school game again. I realized that the final chapter had been written and that this particular book was closed forever. As I stood next to my husband wiping my eyes, trying my best not to let the tears fall, he seemed to read my mind.

“Well,” he said, as he held up a program to emphasize his point. “This book has closed and a new one is about to be opened.”

It was at that moment that I realized the journey was not over, it was merely about to began. It was time to concentrate on selecting a college. A process that would finally move to the top of our agenda. We’re often asked has the college selection process been difficult. Not really. We didn’t deal with college coaches until the summer before Brandon’s senior year when he took his official visits. We stopped most contact when basketball season began and now he will make a decision. When Brandon was an eighth grader playing varsity basketball, his dad and I decided to let him enjoy high school as much as possible without being pressured.

As I stood in the stands processing the fact that it was time to make a college decision, it hit me like a big brick. My son was a McDonalds All-American! Never could I have imagined that Brandon Knight, the little kid who dominated rec league basketball, would be a member of such an elite group. As we left the game and headed to our car, I began to smile. The final chapter of Brandon’s high school career had been written but the first chapter in a new book was about to begin and it would start at the McDonalds All-American Game.

Brandon Knight, SLAM 133

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  • http://slamonline.com/ Tzvi Twersky

    Thanks to Brittany G. for all her help in making this happen.

  • UKfan4life

    Mrs. Twersky, thanks for the update! I’m sure I’m not the first one to say this, but we love your son over here in Lexington, Kentucky!! I have youtubed his mixtapes hundreds of times and can’t begin to describe how excited we are about having the chance to cheer for your son! We LOVE our Wildcats more than food and water down here and all members on the team, whether a Walk-On or All-American, hold a special place in all of our hearts! You can’t find another program that can match the passion us Wildcat fans have for our program! Thanks for considering Kentuky and I hope to be screaming my lungs out for Brandon at Midnight Madness next season!!! Congrats on an outstanding high school career! C-A-T-S CATS CATS CATS!!!

  • Justin

    There are many many exciting chapters ahead for your wonderfully talented son! You have done a great job raising him and it shows. Now it’s time to pass him off to Coach Cal and the Big Blue Nation…we will take care of him. He will see support from a fan base that is unlike any other in college basketball. He will play for a coach that will set him up to be as successful as possible, both on and off the court. We look forward to seeing BK in Big Blue! Rupp Arena awaits you Brandon and Family! We love our players and we love college basketball! Once you are a part of the UK Baskeball family, you will always be welcome! Go Big Blue!

  • Bluecatnation

    A great kid and student to go along with being a potentialy great player! Hope the University of Kentucky is the place for him!

  • ShaunL2359

    Looking forward to your family’s decision and hoping that it is THE University of Kentucky Wildcats!

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  • GatorHoops

    The University Of Florida is the place to be . . . close to home, great academics, beautiful campus, terrific coach with unmatched integrity, a recent run of NBA players and home of 2006 & 2007 National Champions!

    Go Gators!!

  • UKRockett

    I recently watched a youtube interview with Brandon in 2009. He stated he wanted a college where he could be the point guard (probably meaning not carry the entire load, like he has), be surrounded with great players and be a National Championship contender. UK sounds like a great fit for Brandon. If Brandon chooses to be One and Done or to stay and graduate he will be part of the Big Blue Nation for Life! Hayes, Rondo, Prince, Meeks, Patterson…..


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  • mawg8trs

    Sounds like you have really enjoyed being a part of Brandon’s high school basketball experience. I can tell you first hand that being there for your child’s college experience is far more rewarding and is something you will remember for the rest of your life. The Gators will be very good next year. With Brandon, they will be great. Looking forward to seeing you in the stands in Orange and Blue next season. Go Gators!

  • Brad

    I am a Kentucky fan but I hope if we get bad news the fans respect the kids decision and let it be. It’s really about what BK thinks is best for him. I know what I think is the best situation for him though.

  • Gail

    I am a Gator fan but I am also a mom, so I hope he chooses the best school for him, whatever that may be. Best of luck to the family.

  • Brian

    Nice job in the classroom – a high GPA at Pine Crest is no small feat.

    Hope to see Brandon and Kenny Boynton playing together in the Orange-and-Blue next year.

  • Don Cramer

    You know I have been watching and playing basketball a very long time, from the midget league in Ambridge Pa to coaching in the USAF. I enjoyed the entire ride but I wasn’t big enough nor had enough meat on my bones to play college ball. I would suggest that even though I am a huge Gator fan that Brandon look at each school with an open mind and take care of the education first! Basketball is a tool to get the degree and he won’t be the first one to get a headline and won’t be the last so make this one happen. Everyone on here is a bball fan and everyone would like to play recruiter but keep it real and remember that you haven’t accomplished anything until you have the degree. Go Gators! RESPECT!

  • oldawgblue

    I remember reading somewhere that your son is one of the few that could probably go to an Ivy League school on an academic scholarship if he wished. Impressive! I’m a UK fan always,and hope to see him there. But whatever he chooses, congratulations to you on producing a fine young man.

  • http://slamonline.com Mo Money Bizzes

    Y’all crazy. Great job, Mrs. Knight. Do you Brandon. 4get the haters.

  • Dewayne Wade

    I share in your emotions as my daughter is now a senior and preparing for UK in the fall (a new chapter). We have stressed academic achievement in our home and I congratulate Brandon for working so hard in the classroom. It would be interesting to know what Brandon’s interests are beyond the court and what he sees himself doing after basketball is over. He seems like a kind, mild-mannered kid (maybe he’d fit in very well with Daniel Orton and Darius Miller). We’ll be looking forward to watching him in the All Star game!

  • GatorAlum

    Good luck with your decision! Great season and a true joy to watch! Go Gators!

  • http://KSR Randyandy

    Congrats on a great year! Sounds like Brandon has a fantastic home life with great support for both academics and atheltics. Brandon is the ultimate example of the student athelete. We would love to have you guys as part of the Kentucky experience, especially because I know Brandon can have fun playing at Kentucky. Additionally, he can receive an excellent education. Wherever Brandon chooses to attend college we wish him the best of luck and the happiest of college experience’s.

  • TampaGator

    Good luck to Brandon, where ever he decides to play in college. It seems you’ve raised an exceptional young man.

  • Gary

    Brandon hope to see you wearing Kentucky blue next season. You just cant go wrong with Coach Cal and Kentucky. Come join the family!!

  • TvilleGator

    Good luck to Brandon, and all of his endeavors from myself and “Gator Nation”!

  • Twyman Boren

    We just saw where the thinking ability came from with Brandon’s good grades. It felt easy flowing and personal. Good Luck and please remember we will keep a light on for ya.

  • AustinGator

    Brandon sounds like a great kid. I hope he follows his heart wherever he goes. Best of luck to you. I’m sure he will reach the best decision for him, and go to the place where he will be happy.
    Go Gators!

  • Gator Mike

    Brandon will be a great asset to whatever team he chooses. Of course, Gator Nation is hoping he will choose the Gators. He would be the missing piece in making the Gators a championship contender. Go Brandon!

  • orange&blue

    Congratulations on making the McD’s squad, Brandon – I’m really hoping to watch you breaking ankles as a Gator next year. Come to Gainesville – it’s the best of both worlds for education and ball, and you get to stay down here in that Florida sunshine! Regardless of where you do decide to attend college, good luck to you and your family – you’re gonna do big things.

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  • Matt

    To the UK fans, how worried are you that your current coach has had to forfeit his two other Final Fours due to integrity issues. I just hope players and families, such as the Knights, can see right through what happens when Coach Calipari is at a particular school. It’s only a matter of time….
    To the Knights and their family, best of luck to you. Everything that has been written has been very positive and it seems that any school that is lucky enough to have him attend will not only be getting a great b-ball player but even a better person.

  • UKRockett

    Let me apologize to Brandon and his mother for Matt. Enjoy your Blog and don’t let the bashing of UK and FL by those following you ruin your moment. Enjoy your ride Brandon. I’m sure you have researched Coach Cal’s past and it does not need to be brought up here. Brandons Place! Big Blue Nation, “Embrace the Hate”.

  • Yale

    Dear Knight family,

    I graduated from St Andrews in Boca and played in all sports against Pine Crest MANY years ago.

    Where Brandon goes to school needs to be his choice, guided by those who love him.

    The best college experience is that which prepares us for a broad and exciting life.

    Basketball is a great sport and, for Brandon, perhaps a career. But a career is not a life.

    Choose the place that will offer more than basketball, a place to become a life long learner.

  • RockChalk

    I agree with Rockett in the hopes that Brandon researched Cal’s past! YIKES!
    Though BK is not bound for my school, it is funny to read these posts. Especially funny is the suggestion that UK fans treat their players “like family”. Saul Smith may not agree.
    Anyone who pays any attention to basketball knows UK fans to be among the most fickle and unforgiving in all of sports.
    So to Brandon, I say… run! Run far away from that bluegrass!
    Good look in whatever you choose and congrats on a fantastic highschool career!!

  • Jeff

    As an older Pine Crest alum, I truly have enjoyed watching Brandon from afar.

    I hope that Brandon has as much success at the next level and truly enjoys his college years, whereever he goes.

    While I have seen Brandon’s short list of universities that he is considering, I am curious to know whether Brandon ever considered bypassing those name schools and, instead, attend one of the Ivys.

  • http://ASeaofBlue iam4ukintn

    A big shout out to BK from the Big Blue Nation. Hope to see you in Lexington next year. You’ll fit right in with D. Miller and company. Come experience what Kentucky basketball is all about. There’s nothing like it…

  • http://slamonline.com/ niQ

    I honestly can’t wait to see this guy in the L.

  • Greg Edwards

    Congrats Brandon on a terrific season……From all of us here in the Big Blue Nation, we would like to wish you all the best, no matter where you go.

    It has been a pleasure seeing your talent on display this year.

  • H S Coach

    I am sure Brandon and family can appreciate the negativity brought to this forum by the fans of Florida and Kansas.
    Pretty low-class, in my opinion.

  • UK Fan

    Wonderful article. Brandon sounds like a great basketball player and, more importantly, a great young man. Blessings to him and his family as they look to the future.

  • ukfan197(one

    WOW! A person camnt go anywhere and read about this young man without the BS; Calipari and UK. I’m sure the family will make the best decision and not what some haters say. Good luck to the whole Knight family.

  • Austin

    GO CATS!! Most Florida fans don’t even know the names of their own players. In Kentucky, you’re required to…

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  • John Davis

    Brandon sounds like a wonderful kid. Hope he makes the decision that will make him the happiest both academically and athletically. He is surely one of the most exciting players to come around for a long time.

  • RockChalk

    Though the recent stories are probably not true, Calipari has a past that will forever invite rumor and specualtion.
    If I were Brandon, I sure would not want my name dragged through it. And should Cal’s sordid history repeat itself, I certainly would not want to be anywhere near UK.
    UK fans will never admit it, but before he arrived at their school, they had the same opinion of Calipari that everyone else does.
    But desperate times call for desperate measures, and now UK is singing a different tune.
    He is gatherinbg W’s . . . but waaaay to much baggage and poor reputation for me to ever want to be affiliated.
    But to each his own.
    Good lukc to BK.
    Sorry if the truth hurts, Cat fans,

  • Derek

    I just want to say im ecxited about your sons decision in college. Im a gator fan and was born and raised in Gainesville. He seems like a great kid. Smart and a very gifted basketball player. Alot of people think he is a one and done to the NBA but it would be so awesome to see him stay 3 or 4 yrs and get a degree where ever he decides to go. Good luck with everything. Go Gators

  • Austin

    Florida fans don’t even know the names of their own players. Enough said, really. GO CATS!!

  • Ukkrazyintn

    Wish Brandon all the best in wherever he decides to go to college and play basketball…hope he chooses the place in which he feels the most at home. As to all the naysayers on here, just ask Mrs. Patterson, Patrick’s mom, how she feels about UK and the Big Blue Nation… Good luck to Brandon and his family in the decision-making process!

  • Gatorhoops

    Brandon recently announced that he has eliminated UM from consideration, but has added Syracuse.

    Go Gators!

  • RockChalk

    UKkrazy. . . or I could just ask Saul Smith and his dad! LOL!

  • Dick Slinger


  • UKRockett6

    Brandon, we need you to come rain some 3′s! Go Big Blue!

  • UKRockett6

    Brandon, we need you to come rain some 3′s! Go Big Blue!

  • Frank

    Brandon – Watch out for Calipari! He is as sleazy as they come. Best of luck to you.