Posted On: 10/15/15 1:00 AM

Kayle Knuckles kept getting prodded by some of his eighth grade classmates.

Come out for the basketball team, they’d say. You’re tall, they’d remind him.

“Everyone was urging me to play because I was the tallest kid in my grade,” Knuckles said. “I didn’t really want to play, but I finally decided I would. I thought, ‘It’s eighth grade, I might as well.’”

It’s safe to say Knuckles appreciates that prodding now. The 6-foot-6 junior forward at Valor Christian may have been a late bloomer to the sport, but he is blossoming into a bona fide basketball prospect – albeit one who has been flying under the radar.

“Kayle has been playing basketball now for only two years; he has come a long way,” said Knuckles’ club coach with the dynamic Billups 16U Elite squad, Quincy Sanders. “There’s a lot that he doesn’t understand yet, but there’s a lot that he does. Wherever the ball is, that’s where he is. He’s a ball-hawk. He’s like a magnet to the ball.”

Knuckles may still be learning nuances of the game, but he hasn’t had to learn a passion for it. After enjoying his eighth-hoops experience, Knuckles played on the freshman team

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