By LARRY VAUGHT
Mercer County’s Trevon Faulkner, a strong Mr. Basketball candidate, has verbally committed to Northern Kentucky University.
He had several offers, including Western Kentucky University, in basketball along with Division I football offers since he is a 6-4 safety/receiver.
“After I went on my visit, I just really liked the school and the family atmosphere. I liked hanging with the guys and the connection I had with the coaches and players,” Faulkner said.
First-year Mercer coach Josh Hamiln says playing in the Horizon League will be a great fit for Faulkner.
“Trevon liked all the Kentucky kids they have on the roster and he enjoyed being around them,” Hamlin said. “Trevon is a great defender and will score at that level, too. He can play the one or two. I think he’ll contribute as a true freshman.”
Northern Kentucky coach John Brannen got a four-year contract extension in June after winning the Horizon championship with a 12-6 mark. Northern finished 24-11 and reached the NCAA Tournament in its first season of eligibility where it lost to Kentucky in the first round.
Faulkner averaged 24.6 points and 11.9 rebounds per game last season. He shot 52 percent overall and 78 percent at the foul line and has worked on improving his 28 percent mark from 3-point range.
He played on the same Twenty Two Vision summer team as Romeo Langford of New Albany, one of the nation’s top 2018 recruits who just cut his list of potential schools to seven and has UK on that list.
“I think it made me better to play with a guy (Langford) like that who likes to win and is being recruited by everybody. He helped push me to be great,” Faulkner said. “Playing with him and against guys like Zion Williamson this summer, I could see myself competing against those guys in college and I knew that’s what I wanted to do.”
He likes football — and many think he could have a NFL future — but he loves basketball.
“Basketball is what I want to do the rest of my life. I enjoy football now, but in college it’s basketball for me,” Faulkner said. “Making this decision takes some pressure off me. I think we are going to have a good football season and good basketball season. Now I can just concentrate on that.”