By LARRY VAUGHT
Kentucky basketball fans have a chance to watch future Wildcat Tyrese Maxey play three times this weekend at the Kentucky Lake Showcase in Marshall County.
The guard from South Garland High School in Texas will play two games Friday and one Saturday.
South Garland faces Hillcrest Prep North (Arizona) at 10:30 a.m. CST Friday and then will play Superior Collegiate (Florida) at about 4 p.m. On Saturday South Garland will take on DME Academy (Florida) at 4 p.m. CST — or about an hour after the UK-Louisville game finishes.
So what is Maxey like off the basketball court.
“I am probably the most laid back person ever. I hate the camera,” Denyse Maxey, the UK signee’s mother, said. “My husband (an assistant coach on the team) is laid back.
“But Tyrese loves the spotlight. The bigger the stage, the more he wants to perform. He has always shined on the biggest stages. I always ask him if he gets nervous and he’ll say, ‘Mom, it’s just basketball.’ He just seems to enjoy and embrace any situation. I think Kentucky fans will really like him.”
The fans should get a chance to find out this weekend when they watch him on the court and likely will have chances to get photos and autographs after each of his games.
Denyse Maxey said the family liked a lot about Kentucky but coach John Calipari really impressed her.
“We felt like the time we had spent with Cal, he was sincere. For me to even consider letting my 17 year old go to Cal is huge. I am such a Mama Bear,” she said. “I felt like Cal would take care of him.
“He never lied to us. He is not always going to be easy on him and he told us that. He didn’t make the promises or say some of the things other coaches did to make us feel good.
“In our opinion, he was honest. He said he would be hard on him and get on him. Cal said there would be times our son might hit a brick wall from time to time. That is kind of person I want to grow my son into the next stage of life. We did not want him to just grow as player, but also as a man. We just felt comfortable with him.”
Maxey is averaging 22 points, 5.8 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 1.4 steals and 1.0 blocks per game in 16 games this season. He’s shooting 83 percent at the foul line, 28 percent from 3-point range and 45 percent overall from the field.
During his 91-game career, he’s averaged 21.7 points, 6.1 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 2.0 steals and 1.3 blocks per game.