WINCHESTER — The students at Conkwright Middle School had one request for Brandon Knight during his brief visit to Winchester Thursday afternoon.
The students chanted “one more year” as Knight was introduced and took part in a question and answer session with Conkwright principal Travis Earlywine.
Knight smiled at the chant and indicated that he’s still undecided on whether or not he will return next season for his sophomore campaign.
“I’m still 50-50,” he said. “I haven’t really made a decision yet.”
As for coming back to Kentucky, Knight said he “wouldn’t mind it” and would embrace another opportunity to play for the Wildcats for one more season.
“Kentucky is a great place and I’ve enjoyed being here,” he said. “That wouldn’t be a bad decision at all.”
Knight has 11 days to make up his mind.
“I will know by (May 8th),” he said. “By then, I will know what I will be doing.”
Throughout the process, Knight has consulted with Kentucky coach John Calipari and his family regarding his future plans. In the end, Calipari urged Knight to “test it” and see what happens.
“I’m always going to listen to coach (Calipari),” he said. “I’m just doing whatever is best for me. I’m listening to the people around me and talking to coach (Calipari). He’s been in the situation millions of times, so I’m going to trust him.”
Since Kentucky’s loss to national champion Connecticut during the Final Four earlier this month, Knight has had a chance to reflect on his first season with the Wildcats.
“I’ve been able to think about what we did as a team and how we were able to come together,” he said. “We should have (won it all). We just know a lot of us didn’t play to the best of our ability that game and a lot of us were tired. But, we made a good run and we should have won.”
During the Kentucky’s deep run in the NCAA Tournament, Knight said his most memorable moment was the team’s upset over top-seeded Ohio State in the East Region semifinals.
“Nobody picked us to win and everyone was doubting us,” he said. “It just shows that whenever someone is doubting you, as long as you believe that you can do it and put your mind to it, you can accomplish whatever you want.”
He added that his ultimate goal is to “make it to the next level” and get his degree.
“Those are the two goals I have right now,” he said. “Hopefully after those two things, I want to be able to make an impact, not only in my family life, but in other people’s lives as well.”
While speaking to the student body, Knight emphasized the importance of getting an education.
“It (education) is very important, because you can only play basketball for a very limited time — maybe up to until you are 40,” he said.
“Then you have to live your life for another 40 years hopefully. That’s where your education comes in. You have to do something to help support your family. You have to find something to do (after basketball) that makes you happy.”
Knight enjoys visiting schools and sharing the rewards of a being successful in the classroom. Knight, a 4.0 student at Kentucky, already has enough college credits accumulated to qualify as a junior next season.
“It’s fun,” he said. “When I was kid, I enjoyed people coming back (to school) and talking to me. You get kicks out of things like that and you remember things like that. I’ll always enjoy it.”