Kimbal Mackenzie Merits U19 Canada Consideration
The name Kimbal Mackenzie may not ring bells like some do in the 2015 Canadian class, but remember it, because Mackenzie’s ceiling of potential among his peers is second to none. Mackenzie a native of Oakville, Ontario attended Holy Trinity before taking his talents to John Carroll in Bel Air, Maryland.
License To Kimball
In three seasons south of the border Mackenzie has shown significant strides in his development. Epitomized after averaging 14.3 points, 2.7 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game this season and being named the Baltimore Catholic League’s Jerry Savage Player of the Year.
Kimball will take his talents to Bucknell University this fall. Mackenzie pledged allegiance to the Bison’s ahead of his senior season in Maryland. A decision his father credited to the recruiting efforts of both Bison’s assistant Aaron Kelly and head coach Dave Paulsen. Also a large part of it was an opportunity to contribute immediately as a freshman,
“Kids still need to play, last thing you want to do is go to a school that’s a maybe a little too high for your level then all of a sudden you’re at the end of your bench. Seeing four or five minutes a game for two or three years, nobody wants to do that.” Mr. Mackenzie told Hoops Hype Canada at the time of his commitment.
How Mackenzie gets overlooked is mind boggling to teammates, coaches and even scouts.
“He is a real floor general who is always aware and just knows how to get his teammates involved,” is how Hoops Hype Canada prospect evaluator Ian Douglas broke down the 6’1” Mackenzie .
“He makes nothing but sound decisions, Kimbal is the type of point guard every college coach craves.” Douglas added.
He may be known for his good looking shot but Mackenzie is a proven point guard who can finish on the break, through contact and with either hand. His biggest trait though is his unbelievable vision to make his teammates better.
Mackenzie builds relationships with those around him that are never forgotten. While playing with Holy Trinity in grade nine and ten Mackenzie won back to back junior Halton championships alongside Canadian international 2016 Brandon Cyrus. Cyrus who has played with the Canadian Cadets, CIA Bounce and now at La Lumiere in Indiana remains a huge advocator of his old Titan running mate,
“Kimbal is the best player and teammate I’ve ever had a chance to play with. He made everybody on the court 10000% better. There is nobody else I would rather have on my squad than him,” Cyrus told Hoops Hype Canada.
His former Holy Trinity bench boss and now a coach at Corpus Christi in Burlington, ON is Ron Esteban. Coach Esteban understands why Mackenzie is often overlooked in the virtual hoopla that surrounds prospects these days,
“He’s team oriented. He’s not a shark that goes to scouting combines or exposure camps looking for 20 points a game and he’s okay with that.” Esteban said.
“Just because he doesn’t put flashy numbers up it doesn’t mean Kimbal is not a winner or doesn’t compete. Kimbal has a resume you can’t argue. If he’s not the best point guard out there in his class, he’s pretty close,” offered Esteban.
Mackenzie’s good friend and fellow Patriot at John Carroll is 2015 Canadian Elijah Long (FGCU commit), Long says Mackenzie is not only a leader on the court but also off of it too,
“Humble hardworking man, very book smart and a great example of a student athlete,” Long told Hoops Hype Canada about Mackenzie.
Red And White Future
After missing the U18 Team Canada open try outs last Spring by a day due to academic commitments, Junior National Team head coach Roy Rana denied Mackenzie an invitation to the invite only tryout when he returned home. Mackenzie’s denial of a fair shot at representing Canada in the 2014 FIBA Americas only served as fuel to his fire. Entering the season Mackenzie spearheaded John Carroll to a 25-6 start and was appointed a Baltimore Catholic League 1st team all-star. A list of notable BCL alumni’s that played in the NBA include Carmelo Anthony, Rudy Gay, Juan Dixon and Gary Neal.
Mackenzie chose Bucknell over Sienna and Loyola Maryland. Now with a BCL Player of the Year award under his belt, does Roy Rana choose Mackenzie to be the unquestioned leader for the Canadian squad entering the FIBA U19 World Championships this summer?
FIBA U19 World Championships take place the week of June 27th through July 5th in Heraklion, Greece— Mackenzie merits strong consideration but only time will tell…