South Pasadena Middle School eighth grader Kennedy Mitchell-Egbo has shown promise on the hardwood, garnering the attention of several high schools and attracting special opportunities. In the fall, he will be attending St. Francis as a member of their 2024 graduating class.
As a student, Mitchell-Egbo is going above and beyond, earning straight A’s during his first grading period of his eighth grade year. He is currently an honor roll student with a 3.76 GPA.
Mitchell-Egbo intends to play for the prestigious St. Francis Golden Knights boys basketball team who is ranked 18th in California and 73rd nationally. The Golden Knights are the reigning California Southern Division 2 Champions, they were unable to compete in the State Finals because it was canceled due to the COVID-19 Virus.
Mitchell-Egbo was committed to learning basketball and being successful in the classroom. Developing into a basketball player was a challenge that he was willing to take on.
At the age of 12, he joined the You Ball Foundation, a basketball and career enrichment program. He was able to understand the sport quickly, and his jovial personality won over his teammates right away. Mitchell-Egbo also plays basketball for South Pasadena.
“He’s a very intellectual kid, a fast learner, a hard worker,” said Amani Daanish, chairman of the You Ball Foundation. “He came to us with those tools that we were able to flatten the learning curve a little bit in order for him to kinda catch up to where a lot of kids are.”
Currently he plays at center, his best attribute is his ability to listen and learn. Early on, Mitchell-Egbo would start games slowly and finish strong. As he continued to play, he would become competitive faster in games.
Not only his coaches, but his teammates also helped him learn how to play basketball.
“A lot of kids on the team stepped up and taught him and extended our teaching away from the basketball courts and hanging out with him in their personal life,” Daanish said.
As he mastered his new skills, opportunities came his way. Mitchell-Egbo was invited to the Chris Paul CP3 National Middle School Combine and a trip with Team USA. The trip allowed him to compete in a basketball tournament in Singapore and to teach English in Indonesia.
“That hosts some of the best talent in the country,” Daanish said about the CP3 invitational. “We were able to get Kennedy in those camps and completely give him complete exposure.”
The various tournaments and camps that Mitchell-Egbo not only helps improve his skills but gives him a chance to observe how strong his opponents can be.
“He played in the national tournament against the no. 6 seed in the country,” Daanish said. “Kennedy had the chance to play against a 6’10” 14-year-old.”
During a national ranking tournament at the Mamba Sports Academy, Mitchell-Egbo helped the You Ball Foundation win the championship. Because of his efforts, the team made him tournament MVP and the organization hosting the tournament gave him first-team honors for the 14U group.
“He’s flying all over the floor, grabbing every rebound, getting every ball and taking it in and having his hands ready,” Daanish said. “We played him the entire [championship] game because he played so good.”
A piece of advice that Daanish would leave Mitchell-Egbo is to home in on the lessons of his new coaching staff and to endure the tough times while he pursues his dreams.”
“Education-wise, St. Francis is the top program in the state,” Daanish said. “it will complement is academics.”
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