BENTON, Ky. — Kenny Payne is well-known for his recruiting skills, but the Kentucky assistant coach is pushing his son, Zan Payne, away from potentially walking-on for the Wildcats.
The younger Payne is a senior at Lexington Catholic. He doesn’t have any Division-I offers, but he put on quite the show at the Marshall County Hoopfest on Saturday. His dad, along with Kentucky coach John Calipari, was in attendance for the second half.
Zan Payne was asked if he’s talked to his dad about a potential walk-on opportunity at UK.
“He would rather me play D-I somewhere else, but if not I’d walk-on at Kentucky,” Payne said. “He thinks I’m better than walking-on, so that’s why he would rather me go to a different school.”
Zan Payne, son of UK assistant Kenny Payne, is doing it all for Lexington Catholic. pic.twitter.com/VnLUVPUwmg
— Joe Mussatto (@joe_mussatto) December 3, 2017
Payne had 22 points and 11 rebounds against Marshall County and was named player of the game. He bullied his way to the basket against smaller opponents, but the 6-foot-4 and 200-pound prospect sees himself as a small forward or shooting guard at the next level.
Payne said he’d consider going to a prep school as a fifth-year senior if he doesn’t receive any offers.
He’s able to hang out with his dad and Kentucky players “all the time” at the Joe Craft Center.
“He’s so hard on me,” Payne said of his dad, “but it’s great because I’m always around the best players and it’s a good atmosphere.”