Five years ago, Kevin Knox II and Trae Young participated in a 3-point shooting contest as part of the McDonald’s All-American Game festivities.
The two high school phenoms separated themselves from the field as they kept sinking shots from long-range. Young won the contest. Knox II finished second.
On Thursday, the two were reunited again, this time on the same NBA team.
Knox II, a former standout at Tampa Catholic, was traded from the New York Knicks to the Atlanta Hawks. The Knicks also sent a 2022 first-round draft pick via the Charlotte Hornets to the Hawks for Cam Reddish, Solomon Hill and a 2025 second-round pick, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported.
The move comes a day after Tampa Catholic publicly announced that Knox II donated $2 million to his alma mater for a field house that will bear his name.
Taken ninth overall in the 2018 NBA Draft, Knox II (featured photo above courtesy of Matteo Marchi/MSG Photos) made history, becoming the highest pick ever area selection.
Knox also got a dose that day of how hostile New York can be. Many of the hometown team’s fans in attendance booed the choice, chanting former Missouri standout Michael Porter Jr.’s name, the preferred pick.The pre-teen Crying Knicks Fan gave an exasperated shrug on ESPN. Spike Lee grimaced before reluctantly applauding.
That did nothing to wipe the wide grin off the then 18-year-old small forward’s face.
“I like that, it’s motivation,” Knox said on ESPN of the crowd’s reaction at the time. “I heard them say they wanted Porter. I’m ready to work, to get to the organization and win some games.”
“They booed (Kristaps) Porzingis and look where he’s at now,” he said of the Knicks’ All-Star forward. “They can chant Michael Porter all they want; they got Kevin Knox.”
Knox II knew his every move would be dissected by loyal followers not quite sure how to view a lottery pick counted on to be the face of their franchise.
He had to score points, not only in games but with critics.
During his four-year Knicks career, Knox II averaged 8.2 points per game.
Now, he will team with Young, who has averaged 24.7 points in his career and led the Hawks to the Eastern Conference finals last season.