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Who’s Who on the Kentucky Basketball Team

Everyone at UK loves Kentucky Basketball, unless you’re my friend Matthew, but that’s beside the point. We live and breathe basketball and March Madness is truly madness here in Lexington. Come November 5th we’ll be back in the swing of things with our first game against Michigan State. 


Basketball is a big deal but people don’t always know who’s who on the court. I know I didn’t during my first game. So, I’m gonna give you a quick rundown of all of our amazing players so you’re ready for our first game on November 5th. 


#0-Ashton Hagans 

  • @ashton.hagans on Instagram 

Ashton is a 6-3 Sophomore guard from Cartersville, Georgia. He had a really strong season last year and was able to position himself as a player to look out for in the 2019-20 season. Hagans was named to the All-SEC Preseason team along with Kerry Blackshear of Florida, Breein Tyree of Ole Miss, Anthony Edwards of Georgia and Reggie Perry of Mississippi State. Hagans lead Kentucky in both steals and assists in the first exhibition game of the season. 


#1 – Nate Sestina 

  • @natesestina4 on Instagram 

Nate is a 6-9 graduate transfer forward from Bucknell University in Pennsylvania. Sestina is someone who has been working hard all summer in order to be in the best shape possible for the season. While Nate isn’t going to be a consistent starter, he will most likely make an appearance in the majority of games. He came out really strong in the first exhibition game against Georgetown College, scoring 11 points and getting 10 rebounds. 

#2 – Khalil Whitney

  • @khalilwhitney on Instagram. 

Khalil is a 6’6” freshman forward from Chicago, Illinois. He was named in the top 15 by every major recruiting service while in high school. If you ever hear the name Dragon being thrown around it’s in reference to him. 

#3 – Tyrese Maxey 

  •  @tyresemaxey on Instagram

Tyrese is a 6’3” freshman guard from Garland, Texas. Maxey is the highest ranked player in the Kentucky 2019 class and was tabbed the No. 10 overall prospect by the Recruiting Services Consensus Index. Maxey was named to the All-SEC Second Team along with being on the watchlist for the Jerry West Award for the nation’s top shooting guard honors.

#4- Nick Richards 

  •  @nickrichards_ on Instagram

Nick is a 6’11 junior forward from Kingston, Jamaica. After the end of last season, Nick declared for the NBA draft but elected to return back to Kentucky for his junior season. Nick is the tallest player on the team currently and is a great defensive player averaging 40 blocks per season and a season high of 5 against Kansas last season. Nick suffered an ankle injury in the game against Georgetown College but the team believes he’ll recover soon enough. Also, Nick is dating star Kentucky volleyball player Lead Edmond who recently broke the school record for overall kills. 

#5 – Immanuel Quickley 

  •  @immanuelquickley_ on Instagram

Immanuel is a 6’3” sophomore guard from Havre de Grace, Maryland. Quickley lead the cats in scoring during the game against Georgetown College on Oct. 27, scoring 16 points. Along with Hagans, Quickely has positioned himself as one of the top Kentucky players of the year. He had a season high of 15 points scored against Southern Illinois last year. He was a McDonald’s All-American in high school and will likely be a consistent starter for the Cats. 

#10-Johnny Juzang 

  •  @jsilky5 on Instagram

Johnny is a 6’6” freshman guard from Los Angeles, California. Juzang was a late add to the 2019 class after reclassifying. Juzang’s brother, Christian, plays basketball at Harvard. 

#11-Dontaie Allen 

  •  @dontaieallen11 on Instagram

Dontaie is a 6’6” freshman guard from Falmouth, Kentucky. Allen was the 11th all-time scorer for the state of Kentucky in high-school. He suffered a torn ACL in his left knee in December of 2018. While he still hasn’t been cleared to play yet, Allen has been working hard all summer to be a force on the court as soon as he is cleared. 

#12-Keion Brooks Jr

  • @klbj.xii on Instagram

Keion is a 6’7” freshman forward from Fort Wayne, Indiana. Brooks was ranked in the top 35 by the major recruiting services in high school. He chose Kentucky over Indiana, Michigan State, Kansas, and UCLA. Brooks was a five-star prospect and averaged 20.1 points and 7.5 rebounds per game in high school. 

#13-Riley Welch

  • @riley__welch on Instagram 

Riley is a 6’0” junior guard who is originally from Littleton, Colorado. Riley spent his freshman year at the University of California at Irvine and spent his sophomore year at College of the Desert in Palm Desert, California. Welch is going to have to fight hard for minutes this season, especially among such a strong team but he is working hard. Riley also has a podcast with the Athletic department where he talks about the team and his experiences. His first episode, with guest Nate Sestina, is available on SoundCloud. 

#14-Brennan Canada 

  • @brennanc14 on Instagram  

Bennan Canada is a 6’6” freshman forward from Mt. Sterling, Kentucky. Canada is one of the best prospects from the state of Kentucky and averaged 15.0 and 9.5 rebounds per game in high school. 

#21-Zan Payne

  • @alexander.payne23 on Instagram  

Zan is a redshirt freshman guard/forward from Lexington, Kentucky. Payne is a Lexington native and went to Lexington Catholic High School. He used his first season (2018-19) as a redshirt year recover from a knee injury he got in February of his senior year. Before the injury, he averaged 19.3 points and 8.7 rebounds per game. 

#23- EJ Montogomery 

  • @_mont23 on Instagram 

  • EJ is a 6’10” sophomore forward from Fort Pierce, Florida. He was named to the Preseason Second All-SEC team. Montgomery declared for the draft at the end of last year but obviously returned for his sophomore season.  EJ is a strong defensive player and lead the team in blocks against Georgetown College. 

#33-Ben Jordan 

  • @ben3jordan3 on Instagram

Ben is a 6’9” redshirt sophomore forward from Olive Hill, Kentucky. Ben is also a pitcher for the UK baseball team. It was announced that he would be joining the team right before the Blue-White Game. Jordan was a top-player on his high school team and it seems he will serve as an extra body on this small team. 


Now you can go into the basketball season knowing who’s who on the team and not have to turn around and ask anyone around you who that one player is!

Hi everyone! I'm Sophie and I am a sophomore Journalism major at the University of Kentucky. I'm using Her Campus as a way to write more on a regular basis! I hope you enjoy what I write and have a great day!
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