Kennard, a 2015 Franklin graduate and the state’s third all-time leading scorer, signed autographs, posed for photos and participated in a question-and-answer session prior to the ceremony.
The atmosphere was like he never left. Everyone wanted to see Luke.
“It’s like going back to 2014, 2015 again,” said Franklin boys basketball coach Brian Bales.
“He just has this affect on people. He’s humble. He’s easy to cheer for. In this community he’s beloved.”
Credit: Nick Graham
Credit: Nick Graham
Kennard also spoke about how he found out the Cincinnati Bengals won the AFC championship game on Sunday. Kennard hopes to be at the Super Bowl next week.
“It’s in L.A. so I’m going to try my best to get there and root them on,” Kennard said. “I know we don’t play that day. So let’s go Bengals. ‘Who Dey.’ I can’t wait. I’m so excited. It’s going to be cool when they win.”
Kennard, a potential candidate for the NBA All-Star Game’s 3-point contenst later this month in Cleveland, made headlines last week when he scored seven points inside the final 9 seconds as the Clippers rallied from a 35-point first-half deficit to defeat host Washington 116-15, according to the Associated Press.
The former Duke University guard scored 25 points in that game against the Wizards including a four-point play with 1.9 seconds remaining, according to the AP.
Kennard, 25, is in his fifth NBA season. He wore No. 5 his freshman season at Franklin and then wore No. 10 his final three seasons.
He is the sixth individual to have a jersey retired at the school.
Franklin retired the No. 1 of 2013 grad Travis Lakins, a pitcher for the Baltimore Orioles, at a boys basketball game Jan. 29 vs. Thurgood Marshall. Lakins made it to the big leagues with the Red Sox in 2019. He was 1-4 with a 5.79 ERA last season in 29 apperances with the Orioles.
Lakins played college baseball at Ohio State.
At Franklin, he excelled on the baseball field and also was a 1,000-point scorer in basketball.
Kennard is third on the Ohio High School Athletic Association’s career points list. He scored 2,977 career points in high school from 2011 to 2015.
Kennard averaged 38.4 points, 10 rebounds and five assists his senior season as Franklin (26-2) was a Division II regional runner-up in 2015.
Kennard, a two-time Ohio Mr. Basketball winner, was just the sixth player in Ohio to win the AP Mr. Basketball award more than once since it started in 1988.
He was named the Parade National Player of the Year his senior season.