Larry Vaught Weekly: Adebayo Spends Thanksgiving at Salvation Army + Marshall Co. Hoopfest Info

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Larry Vaught Weekly: Adebayo Spends Thanksgiving at Salvation Army + Marshall Co. Hoopfest Info

Photo: Andrew Bishop,

Freshman Bam Adebayo said he felt “blessed” that he was able to spend time on Thanksgiving helping at the Salvation Army.

By: Larry Vaught

“It’s really interesting when you see stuff like that because it opens your eyes and makes you realize how blessed you are,” Adebayo said. “Just seeing other people that didn’t have as much as you, so you are like giving back to them. Plus, we are Kentucky basketball players so it makes them feel good and makes us happy also.

“They liked talking to us and I enjoyed talking to them. I smiled and liked seeing their smiles. We just kind of passed plates of food around. I didn’t get to load up because I was just passing the plates out. If I had been serving, everybody would have got even more. But it was a great experience for me.”

Marshall C0. Hoopfest

By: Larry Vaught

The annual Marshall County Hoop Fest is Thursday through Saturday in Benton and again will have some of the nation’s top players, including Arizona signee DeAndre Ayton and Kentucky signee Shai Alexander.

But if you want to see some potential rising stars, look for Aspire Basketball Academy out of Arizona — a new prep school coached by former Louisville assistant coach Jeremy Kipness.

“This is our first year but it is incredible the type of talent we have brought in for this initial year,” said Kipness. “We have a strong international presence on our team with kids from Senegal, Cameroon and Germany. We had kids from New York and Chicago.

“We are huge with guys 6-9, 6-10, 6-11 with big wing spans. We have some really good guards and some really good young players. We have a 6-8 sophomore (Dane Quest) that (Louisville) coach (Rick) Pitino has fallen in love with. We have a sophomore guard (Joel Brown) who played on the Canadian youth national team and already has an offer from Rutgers.

“We had 35 college coaches in during a month to see us. Makhtar Gueye, a 6-10 wing, has over 20 Division I offers and Pitino fell in love with him, too.”

He says Kentucky has not expressed interest in any of his players yet, but Kipness says he has at least two younger players that are “UK material.”

Kipness has a “close relationship” with Marshall County Hoop Fest organizer Dan Hudson and knows it is one of the “premier” events in the country.

“We can’t wait to be there. We know there will be great players, great teams. Always has been at Marshall County. We’re thrilled to be part of this event,” Kipness said.

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