Memorial graduate Kenneth Lofton Jr.’s basketball rise continued this week as the former Louisiana Tech post player was invited to the NBA Draft Combine.
Lofton was participating in the NBA G League’s Elite Camp this week when he got the call up.
The NBA Combine is where NBA coaches and front office executives get a first-hand look at the top prospects ahead of the NBA draft.
In an interview with the G League, Lofton said he was grateful for the opportunity to be invited to the camp. In the interview, Lofton said he first new he wanted to play pro ball when he was in the fifth grade.
“I would watch my brother and sister, who are older than me, play,” he said. “They played for my dad’s AAU team.”
Before learning of the invite, Lofton said participating at the NBA combine would mean a lot to him, his family and everyone who wants to see his talents make it to the next level.
In the combine’s first day, Lofton put on a show, dropping 13 points on 6-of-10 shooting with three rebounds and three steals. During a broadcast with NBA TV, Lofton told reporters his experience with USA Basketball last summer was important to his development.
“I just go out each and every day and play my game,” he said. “I work on what I need to. Playing at USA was good. I love each and every one of the guys. We still communicate to this day. It was a great experience out there in Europe. “
Lofton said his goal at the combine was to show the NBA execs his versatility.
Days before leaving for the Elite camp, Lofton was in his hometown getting some workouts in at Memorial, according to Titans Head Coach Alden Lewis.
“He came two days straight and worked out before he took off on the plane,” Lewis said. “That just shows how much time he puts into it. I tell my kids that you get what you put into the game of basketball. He has done a great job of investing into his craft. “
Lewis said he is not a bit surprised by Lofton’s continued success.
“When he walks in the gym, he believes he is the best person in the gym,” Lewis said. “He is a very confident kid. With his skillset and the ability he has, I knew it was coming. I think he can be successful at that level and I expect to see more great things from him. “
Lewis said he is happy to see Lofton’s game develop. The coach said the post player wouldn’t take 3-point shots during his time at Memorial, but has since added the range to his game.
Lofton has also entered the transfer portal and has many big-name programs vying for his attention should he ultimately decide to not go pro. He played that last two season for Louisiana Tech.
He declared for the draft earlier this year, but maintained his college eligibility.
The NBA is draft is June 23.