Saturday, June 23, 2018
Sports

McDonald's All-American Game: Kevin Knox attracts pint-sized media moguls

CHICAGO — Hayden McCain started playing basketball three years ago. His younger brother, Hudson, joined him a year later.

Since then, the sport has played a dominant role in their lives. The two hone their skills night and day on the family's backyard court in St. Petersburg. But they wanted to be more involved in basketball so they started making videos.

The short clips include everything from drills to reviews of the latest sneakers.

The McCain brothers became a hit. They created 527 Hoops, a social media handle that plays off their birthdays. Hayden, 12, and Hudson, 8, were born four years apart on the same day: May 27.

The videos have branched out to include interviews of players. The brothers came to Chicago as part of Tuesday's media contingent leading up to tonight's McDonald's All-American Game.

One of the players the McCains focused on was Tampa Catholic's Kevin Knox.

The brothers connected with the five-star recruit earlier this season through the Knox family.

It was all for a charitable goal. Hayden had a New Year's resolution of making 100,000 shots in his backyard court this year. He wanted his quest to have more meaning so he decided to turn it into a fundraiser. He created a GoFundMe.com page in hopes of raising $100,000 for the Jimmy V Foundation.

"I got the idea after going to the Jimmy V Classic last year," Hayden said. "It seemed like a really good cause."

Knox said his parents contacted the McCains after they posted their YouTube video.

"I've got a busy few weeks but I might try to squeeze in time to visit (the McCains)," Knox said.

Hayden and Hudson filmed Tuesday's practice, then were able to interview Knox during media day at Chicago's United Center.

"It's been a pretty cool experience," Hayden said.

Getting an earful: Knox's roommate for the McDonald's All-American festivities is Nick Richards, a 6-foot-11 center who has already signed with Kentucky.

Richards has used the opportunity to convince the unsigned Knox to become a Wildcat.

Knox, a 6-foot-9 forward, has Duke, Kentucky, FSU and North Carolina on his short list of schools. He likely will make his decision in mid-April.

"Nick has been in my ear for a while now about Kentucky," Knox said. "He does a good job recruiting, and we get along pretty well."

Knox and Richards have known each other since last year when they started playing in national showcases.

"I always hound Kevin about Kentucky," Richards said. "Every chance I get I say BBN (Big Blue Nation). He may be tired of hearing it but I'm still going to say it."

Long-range luck: Knox participated in the 3-point contest at the Powerade Jam Fest on Monday night. He connected on 13 3-pointers for 16 points (some baskets counted for one point, some for two), from the corners and the top of the key.

It was not quite enough.

Knox finished second behind Oklahoma signee Trae Young, who made 14 3s for 19 points. Young averaged 42 points per game this past season.

 
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