Franklin schools to name new basketball court after NBA player

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

Luke Kennard plays among the best pro basketball players in the world as a shooting guard for the NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies. However, Kennard has never forgotten where he came from or the Franklin community.

To honor the 2015 Franklin High graduate, the Franklin Board of Education Monday approved the naming of the new high school’s basketball court as “Luke Kennard Court.” Superintendent Michael Sander said a dedication ceremony for the new basketball court will be held on a date to be announced later.

The new Franklin High School at 140 E. Sixth St. will be dedicated at 1 p.m. Saturday March 2 and will open for classes on Monday.

Sander said the board wanted to recognize Kennard for what he continues to do for the Franklin schools behind the scenes and being a good role model for students and the community.

Other things that Kennard continues to do for the community is supplying the Franklin boys and girls basketball teams with shoes and backpacks and hosting a youth basketball camp each summer with all the proceeds going to the camp.

Kennard and his family have donated $20,000 for the weight room at the new high school as well as $50,000 for the new scoreboards for the new gym.

Debbie Fouts is one of Kennard’s biggest fans and said the decision to name the basketball court after him is “awesome.”

“He put us on the map and I am one of his biggest fans,” she said. “His dad dropped off a Memphis jersey that I am having framed.”

Fouts, who owns A&G Pizza and is a Franklin council member, makes regular trips to Memphis to watch Kennard play. She also made trips to Detroit to watch him when he played for the Pistons, but was unable to travel when Kennard was playing for the Los Angeles Clippers.

“I like it when he comes off the bench during games,” she said. “I’m just tickled he’s now in Memphis.”

She also works with Kennard by providing pizzas to feed the youth basketball camp participants and the pizza shop has NBA League Pass to watch games.

This is the second time Kennard is being honored by Franklin High School. In 2022, the school retired his jersey number 10.

While a student athlete at Franklin High School, Kennard was named the Ohio Gatorade Basketball Player of the Year as a junior and senior and was named the Parade National Player of the Year his senior season.

After two seasons at Duke University, where his playing time and production increased every game, Kennard declared for the NBA Draft and was selected by the Detroit Pistons with the 12th overall pick. As a rookie, he played in 73 games with nine starts. He averaged 7.6 points, 1.7 assists and 2.4 rebounds per game.

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