Breckinridge County High School senior Kaeveon Mitchell is ready to take the next step in his basketball career.
Mitchell, a 6-foot-2, 165-pound guard who averaged 24.3 points per game this past season, will stay close to home after committing to play for Kentucky Wesleyan College.
“It’s a huge relief,” said Mitchell, who was voted the Messenger-Inquirer’s 3rd Region Player of the Year. “Whenever you start playing basketball, every kid growing up has their favorite college basketball team they want to play for.
“Being able to go play for a local team, it’s great. I’m glad to be a part of it.”
Mitchell called it “a perfect fit.”
There’s also a level of familiarity, Mitchell added, since his cousin, Vincent Mitchell, and his high school coach, Patrick Critchelow, were both standout players for the Panthers — and both won NCAA Division II national championships.
“There have been a few people that went there who I really look up to,” Kaeveon Mitchell said. “They went there and had very successful careers.”
Mitchell is intent on carving his own path for the Panthers, as well.
“One major goal I made for myself when I committed was to make it to the national tournament,” he said. “I’m definitely coming into a great program, and I think I can help get them over that hump.”
This past season, Mitchell connected on 46.6% of his shots from the field, including 42.1% from 3-point range as Breck’s top outside shooter. He also knocked down 82.1% of his free throws and grabbed 5.9 rebounds per outing as the Fighting Tigers went 20-10 and won the 11th District Tournament.
It was a breakout campaign for Mitchell, who averaged 7.1 points per game as a junior. Moving to the college ranks, he plans to put together another strong offseason of work.
“There’s definitely some stuff I’m gonna have to work on and things I’ve been working on,” he said. “It’s a pretty big jump going from high school to college. There are definitely things I need to fix and work on.
“I understand some things i did in high school aren’t gonna work in college.”
If there’s one thing Mitchell is confident he can provide immediately, though, it’s effort on the defensive end.
“The first thing I can bring is defensive intensity,” he said. “I really want to change the game through my defense and create a spark. Every team needs a spark to get going, so that’s what I want to provide.”
Mitchell will join a Wesleyan team that went 13-16 and reached the Great Midwest Athletic Conference tournament championship game this past season. He’ll become the fourth former 3rd Region star on the Panthers’ roster, alongside Nathan Boyle, Stew Currie and Zach Hopewell.