Kentrell Garnett was a 2-time All-State guard coming out of Catholic High of Baton Rouge. But standing at 6-1, 165 pounds, Garnett was getting overlooked for college hoops. That's when the Cajuns offered him a chance.
"(Assistant) Coach (Josten) Crow that used to be here, he contacted me to say we have a spot as a walk on," Garnett explained. "So I decided (to go) and I just asked Coach (Bob) Marlin and Coach Crow would I ever get a chance to play. He said 'yeah, as long as I work hard.'"
Garnett saw limited minutes off the bench as a freshman for UL, but after an impressive offseason, the Donaldsonville native earned a spot in the starting lineup this year.
"I don't know if I expected it to happen so soon, but I just know I worked hard in the gym everyday," Garnett recalled. "I used to work out with Cedric Russell all the time. Just working out so much and it paying off finally meant a lot to me."
Garnett has rewarded the Cajuns for that opportunity. He's 4th on the team in scoring with 8.5 points per game and is the Sun Belt's top 3-point shooter at over 50 percent from deep. UL returned the favor by offering Garnett a scholarship this week.
"It was just a surreal experience for me. Coming from where I came from," Garnett said. "Coach Marlin blessed me with the scholarship. It was just big for me."
📄 Scholarship earned.— Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns® Men's Basketball (@RaginCajunsMBB) January 11, 2022
Well deserved moment for our guy, @GGDEUCE. pic.twitter.com/srtXC2V7kG
Garnett was overcome with tears of joy. Not only due to the hard work paying off, but also because of who was watching from above.
"I just thought my pops would be proud," Garnett expressed. "He passed away in 2016. So I just thought about him and how proud he would be of me.
The late Kentrell Garnett Senior was also a basketball star in high school. But more importantly, he passed down a spirit of diligence and perseverance that his son uses to beat the odds.
"He had the biggest work ethic I know," Garnett said. "He went to work. He only had one arm from a car accident he had when he was younger. He still went to work everyday to provide for the family. Put food on the table for me. It was no choice but for me to work hard as well."
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