Trevon Brazile smiled when he was asked if he’s heard about the hype around the Kickapoo High School basketball program entering this season.
“We notice it, we see it,” Brazile said. “We’re just trying not to interact with it or get into the media stuff.”
That hype will continue to grow after Kickapoo added Brazile and Isaac Haney to the program over the summer. The Chiefs are coming off a Class 5 state semifinal appearance while being led by Anton Brookshire — who returns for his senior season.
But before the highly anticipated season, Kickapoo’s new Big 3 finally signed their National Letters of Intent to Division I universities.
Brookshire and Brazile both signed with Mizzou, while Haney signed with Missouri State. The three are among the best prospects in the state and they will all play at Kickapoo together for the first time this season.
Brookshire has been the mainstay with the Chiefs. He’s started since his freshman year and he’s a top-five scorer in school history. He signed to play for the Tigers in early May.
“Coach Martin is a great guy and I love him,” Brookshire said of his college head coach, Cuonzo Martin. “Just being in that atmosphere, I feel like it’s the right one for me.”
“Anton is a special player who can shoot the lights out from deep and beat you off the bounce,” Martin said in a news release. “He’s a scoring lead guard that will make his teammates around him better.”
Kickapoo adds Brazile to the mix as he comes over from Parkview. His paperwork was cleared by MSHSAA and he’ll be good to go despite the crosstown move. He averaged just over 11 points and five rebounds per game a season ago.
Numbers like those don’t typically translate into landing an offer from an SEC program like Mizzou, but Brazile’s growth spurt over the summer led programs like Arkansas, Wisconsin, Kansas and Oregon to come knocking in addition to Mizzou.
Brazile has grown about five inches from the 2019 summer and is now listed at 6-foot-8. He also posses guard skills as a lengthy player, which will make him hard to defend.
“Trevon is an explosive athlete who has the potential to be a really good player on both ends of the floor because he’s multi-dimensional,” Martin said. “His quickness at his size and length is very difficult to defend.”
“It’s a blessing,” Brazile added. “I never thought I’d be in the position I’m in now.”
Haney, a former Dora standout who enrolled at Kickapoo over the summer, is the lone player of the three to stay in town and play at Missouri State — where he committed in January.
Haney led Dora to a Class 1 state championship and he’s coming off back-to-back Class 1 Player of the year honors. He moved to Springfield to be closer to where he trains and to get used to Springfield before his career at MSU.
“We are really excited to add a quality person like Isaac to our program,” MSU head coach Dana Ford said in a news release. “He is a high-caliber student from a great family, and we are really looking forward to him becoming a Bear.”
Haney teased there were some schools that started knocking, but he never wavered from his love from Missouri State. Schools he considered bigger than MSU came around right before he committed, but the love he had for the Missouri State program became evident pretty quickly.
“I had a couple of other schools that came knocking,” Haney said. “I had a couple of bigger schools — that I would consider bigger than Missouri State. None that I would consider over Missouri State because of how it felt to me.”
The three will now embark on a season with the hopes of getting Kickapoo back to the state semifinals for the second consecutive year while going even further.
The three are already acclimated together, having played years of AAU ball together, and it’s now about getting the rest of the team on the same page.
With three Division I signees leading the Chiefs, a special season appears to be likely at Kickapoo.
“We know what we have to do to be successful,” Brookshire said. “I feel like working hard and just being excellent for our team is our No. 1 goal right now.”
Wyatt D. Wheeler is a reporter and columnist with the Springfield News-Leader. You can contact him at 417-371-6987, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or Twitter at @WyattWheeler_NL. You can subscribe to his free “Bears Beat” newsletter on News-Leader.com. He’s also the co-host of Sports Talk on Jock Radio weekdays from 4-6 p.m.