Without Fellow Canadians, Kabongo Still Happy With Texas Decision
Myck Kabongo chose to commit to Texas, in part, to play with fellow Canadians Tristan Thompson and Cory Joseph.
"We've always wanted to play with each other all our lives when we were growing up," said Kabongo, a 6-foot-1 point guard from Toronto. "That's why we all decided to come to Texas. But in the back of my mind, I knew how hard those two guys worked and knew they'd be in the position that they were in - to be able to go in the NBA draft and play in the NBA."
Thompson and Joseph left school after one season and were first round picks.
Kabongo knew about the Longhorns' recent history of playing freshman point guards. T.J. Ford was a Big 12 freshman of the year in 2002, while Daniel Gibson earned that same honor three years later. The tradition continued with Avery Bradley in 2009-10 and Joseph last season, though both could more accurately be described as combo guards.
Kabongo had also developed a strong relationship with Rick Barnes.
"With everything, they were very honest with me," said Kabongo, the No. 26 overall prospect in the 2011 recruiting class. "They kept it very real with me. They didn't just tell me things I wanted to hear. Whenever I call Coach Barnes, he's always telling me things he thought I could improve on as a basketball player and as a person."
Kabongo has a reputation as a pass-first point guard, which will make him well-liked by his teammates and he has already exhibited a strong work ethic.
"He's up in the morning at 6:30 every day in the gym on his own," Texas assistant Rob Lanier said. "Any time he's asked me to come in and work him out ... by the time I'm out there, he's already got a full sweat going and already has been going for a half-hour.
"A couple of times, I've worked him out, and we come back that night. He's really motivated. He's not taking anything for granted."