Kentucky basketball fans already know about Andrew Wiggins — and a couple thousand of them were at Scott County High School on Sunday to see the class of 2013 star in person.
But Wiggins isn’t the only Huntington Prep player who could one day be wearing UK blue.
Montaque Gill-Caesar — “Tecky” to his friends and coaches — is the No. 18 sophomore in the country according the Scout.com. The 6-foot-5 small forward is also the only non-senior to start for Huntington Prep, ranked by USA Today as the No. 1 team in America.
He scored nine points, grabbed nine rebounds and made five of six free throws in Huntington Prep’s 61-44 victory over Christian Faith Center (N.C.) at Scott County on Sunday.
Gill-Caesar, like Wiggins, is a native of the Toronto area. In fact, the sophomore forward said he attended the same elementary school as Wiggins and has known the budding superstar for more than 10 years.
Also like Wiggins, Gill-Caesar is expected to be recruited by Kentucky.
He accompanied teammate Dominic Woodson on an unofficial visit to the Lexington campus earlier this fall. On that trip, Gill-Caesar was shown around by Nerlens Noel, and played some pickup basketball with the current Cats.
His assignment? Matching up with Archie Goodwin.
“It was good, but, you know, they’re a lot bigger than I am; a lot stronger,” Gill-Caesar said. “So it was hard for me to score.”
Trying to stay with elite players is nothing new to Gill-Caesar, who regularly gets paired with Wiggins in practice.
“It makes you better,” he said. “Especially in practice, when we have open gym. We’re around the same position, so I have to guard him a lot. He’s made me better. You know how good he is, so you just have to work hard.”
He said he hasn’t personally been in contact with any of UK’s coaches, though Huntington Prep coach Rob Fuford has fielded calls from Kentucky and others. Gill-Caesar’s sophomore season started just last week and he hasn’t given much thought to his college recruitment.
He did say the guys at Huntington are keeping tabs on UK’s season, and he mentioned watching the games against Maryland and Duke.
On Sunday, he signed autographs with the rest of his teammates and was still on the court chatting with UK fans more than an hour after the game had ended.
“It’s kind of crazy,” he said of the attention. “You just have to get used to it. We appreciate it a lot, because we don’t have a lot of fans. So whenever we get that support, we’re grateful.
“I didn’t expect this at all. It’s a humbling experience, and I know in the future it’ll all be worth it. I just have to put in more work.”
As Gill-Caesar was talking, a Huntington Prep assistant walked by and pointed in his direction.
“This is the next big one right here,” he said. “In two years, all of these people will be paying to see him.”