Luke Kennard by LeBron, now No. 4

ESPN logo
Saturday, February 7, 2015

LeBron James might be the king of Ohio, but he's got competition when it comes to high school scoring in the Buckeye State.

Franklin High senior guard Luke Kennard, a Duke signee ranked No. 23 in the ESPN 100, scored 44 points Friday night against Brookville to pass James and move into fourth on the Ohio High School Athletic Association career scoring list.Kennard now has 2,652 career points.

Kennard, who trailed James by 38 points for the No. 4 spot entering the game, hit a 3-pointer with 1:03 left in the third quarter to pass the current Cleveland Cavaliers star.

"I pulled up from 3, saw it went in -- gave it the little LeBron," Kennard told reporters. "That was just for fun. I'm really excited. I'm blessed to have that opportunity."

Franklin went on to win 90-64.

James, who starred at St. Vincent-St. Mary in Akron, had 2,646 points from 1999 to 2003.

The all-time leader in Ohio is Jon Diebler, who recorded 3,208 points for Fostoria/Upper Sandusky from 2003 to '07.

James wasn't aware of how close Kennard was to passing him on the OHSAA list, but does know his name -- Kennard played on his AAU team.

"He's good," James said when asked about Kennard on Thursday. "He's going to Duke.

"He's one of my kids. That's great. I'm happy for him."

Kennard is amassing James-like accolades, including being named a McDonald's All-American last week. He is the reigning Ohio Mr. Basketball, although James is the only three-time AP Mr. Basketball winner since the award started in 1988.

"I'm not a LeBron or anything," Kennard, who entering Friday was averaging 38.8 points per game, told reporters. "Not even close. But to be in that same category, I'm really blessed to have that opportunity."