April 13, 2024

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Nixa Basketball Star Kael Combs Commits to Wyoming

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Nixa Basketball Star Kael Combs Commits to Wyoming

While Kael Combs, a star basketball player for Nixa, has never thought of himself as a mountain person, it was difficult for him to ignore the scenery while in Wyoming recently.

He took note of a variety of things, including a place where he could develop on the basketball court and play in a conference that had recently had a team win the national championship. Combs knew it was the place he wanted to be because of the breathtaking surroundings and the bright basketball future that lay ahead of him.

“I just felt comfortable,” Combs told the News-Leader during a phone interview. “Everyone I spoke with who was a coach had faith in me. The outdoors is also really stunning. Just everything seemed to fit.”

Combs, the News-Leader’s 2022–23 Boys’ Basketball Player of the Year, made his commitment to play college basketball at Wyoming officially on Saturday night. He will be a Cowboy.

The point guard, who is 6-foot-4 and weighs 190 pounds, selected them over Abilene Christian, Missouri State, Southeast Missouri State, and Northwest Missouri State, among others. He just completed his senior season, during which time he served as the team’s starting point guard for the first time. The Cowboys informed him that they intend to keep him in that role when he competes in the Mountain West. During that season, he also averaged 23.4 points, 6.9 rebounds, and 6.1 assists.

Bryston Williams, a new assistant coach for Wyoming, and Combs’ relationship, according to Combs, was a significant deciding factor. Williams had assisted Josh Schertz’s first and second seasons with the Sycamores at Indiana State. Prior to his relocation to the west, Williams was actively pursuing Combs as a player at Indiana State.

“He told me that I was the first that he called when he got there,” Combs said. “When he moved from the Missouri Valley to the Mountain West, he had a lot of faith in me. I really like Coach (Jeff) Linder, and he is a guard-dominant type of head coach who gets along well with guards.”

Basketball was chosen over football when deciding to play college basketball at Wyoming. Combs developed into one of the top wide receivers in the region during his two seasons of football at Nixa and received offers from both FCS and FBS schools. Even though he thought he would end up playing college football, he admitted during his junior year that basketball had always held a special place in his heart.

Combs added that when his recruitment slowed down before his senior year, he thought about going to prep school. Those ideas quickly vanished after he went on a tear in the final months of the high school basketball season, which led to schools like Abilene Christian and others getting involved while Missouri State reopened its recruitment efforts after having slowed down in previous campaigns.

Wyoming was never a consideration until Williams transferred from Indiana State to the Cowboys about a month ago. Combs signed a letter of intent with the Mountain West school after recent visits to Abilene Christian and Wyoming. The Mountain West conference just helped San Diego State win the national championship.

“I just felt like there were more eyes on the Mountain West,” Combs said. “They only have four players returning from the roster from the previous season, so I’ll have the chance to play in a bigger conference the following season. Coaches have advised me to enter the game and seize the ball that I believe is rightfully mine because that will prepare me for the following year. On and off the court, I believe it to be the best environment for me to improve.”

Reference: www.news-leader.com

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