Men's basketball signs prep forward Kayel Locke to NLI
GREENSBORO, N.C. – Baltimore forward Kayel Locke (pronounced KAY-el) has signed a National Letter of Intent to play men's basketball for UNCG next season, coach Wes Miller announced Thursday.
Locke becomes the first recruit signed by Miller, who became UNCG's permanent head coach on March 6 after serving as interim coach since December.
"We're real excited to have Kayel Locke join our program," Miller said. "Kayel is a versatile player that can score everywhere from the perimeter down to the low post. He's a terrific rebounder and passer. Not only that, he's been a winner in summer basketball and in high school, and has tremendous character and leadership qualities. We're really excited to welcome him to the Spartan family."
The 6-5, 240-pound Locke will leave McDonogh High School in Owings Mill, Md., as the Eagles' all-time leading scorer with 1,938 career points. He also pulled down 1,021 rebounds during his four-year career.
Locke earned All-Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference distinction as a junior and senior, also taking All-Metro honors from the Baltimore Sun in each of those seasons. A three-time Baltimore Sun Athlete of the Week in his career, Locke played in the Capital City Challenge All-Star Game and the Charm City Senior Classic in 2012.
"It feels great," Locke said of signing with UNCG. "I'm really excited to get this whole thing going. I start summer classes in mid-June sometime, so I'm really excited to get down there and reach out to my potential classmates, and I'm excited to get things going, basketball-wise."
Locke was named to the all-tournament teams of several tournaments in his career, including being named the Most Valuable Player of the Benedictine Capital City Classic in 2012.
An Honor Roll student, Locke helped McDonogh to a pair of playoff appearances in his career.
Locke played club ball for Baltimore Elite.
"Kayel was a four-year starter for us and a two-year captain," McDonogh coach Donta Evans said. "He basically did a great job from the very beginning of leading our program, on and off the court. Besides the fact that he was a prolific scorer and rebounder, he was the best teammate every single year and always the most coachable kid that we've had in our program. So, I couldn't have asked for a better player to coach than Kayel.
"I was really happy that things worked out with UNCG, because, from the very beginning, it was the school that Kayel was most comfortable with."
Locke was also recruited by Appalachian State, Central Connecticut State, Monmouth and Towson.
He cited "primarily coach Wes and the relationship that we had" for the reason he chose UNCG.
"I really liked the campus," he continued. "I really liked the whole situation. I've been to North Carolina a lot of times, and I really like the area, I really enjoyed my visit there. I had fun with all my new teammates, and it just seemed like it was the right fit."
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