NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.– Tyrese Maxey has played his first two Nike EYBL Peach Jam games with a bum ankle. It was an injury he suffered about a month ago while playing for the USA U18 team in Canada.
Maxey said his ankle is at about 70 percent, but the UK commit has played in both games. Both of Maxey’s Houston Hoops EYBL games have gone down to the wire and his team is 1-1.
“I can’t really run, I can’t get to my spot,” Maxey said. “Just being out there as a threat. They were eyeing me and I was trying to get some open lanes for my teammates.”
Last night Maxey finished with 16 points, five rebounds and three assists. The hyped matchup against the No. 1 guard in the class, Cole Anthony, didn’t live up to expectations because the two didn’t guard one another for the majority of the game.
Maxey was taken out of the game with his team down double-digits and just a few minutes to play. Maxey initially thought it may have just been a quick breather or a break for guidance, but when he realized his coach was taking him out because the game appeared over, Maxey subbed himself back in the game.
When he came back into the game he decided to guard Anthony.
“I’m gonna guard him or we’re gonna lose,” Maxey said. “It was either or. I took that challenge and did a pretty good job with him.”
Maxey helped lead an epic comeback that led to an outrageous game-winning shot.
A foul called on the inbounds! Houston Hoops with two free throws to tie.
Steal FOR the win!!!!!! HOLY SMOKES! Maxey’s team comes back down two with a second to play to WIN in regulation. pic.twitter.com/MrK95tArEk
— T.J. Walker (@TJWalkerKSR) July 11, 2018
“Coach Cal thought we lost,” Maxey said. “He had left with one second left after they made their two free throws and he thought it was over. He called me later at night and he was shocked because he didn’t know we won.”
Sadly for Maxey, his Houston Hoops squad was on the other end of a comeback on Thursday. Houston Hoops looked to have Seattle Rotary put away but missed free throws and some clutch shots from Seattle forced overtime.
Overtime probably wasn’t the best thing for Maxey. His team lost and it was more time on his injured ankle. Maxey is now unsure if he will play again this weekend.
“I don’t know (if I will play again), but that may be the move for the rest of the weekend,” Maxey said. “I don’t know if I’m helping my team as much as I’m hurting it. They need me out there doing what I normally do, but it’s hard to do when your ankle isn’t letting you do what you’re trying to do. I’m just trying to tough it out because I’m a pretty tough kid.”
Maxey said he will go through warmups for the evening game and if his ankle is bothering him he will sit out. That should make his future coach happy to hear. John Calipari wasn’t crazy about Maxey playing on his injured ankle.
“He doesn’t want me to play,” Maxey said. “He texted me even before the weekend started and he said, ‘You know, we’re good. You can sit out,’ I was like ‘yeah’ but this stage makes me want to play so bad. It makes me want to produce, but it’s just hard.”
There isn’t any structural damage to Maxey’s ankle. The injury happened in pool play in Canada nearly a month to the day. It shouldn’t surprise anyone that after being ruled out for the remainder of that tournament, Maxey played in the gold medal game just days later.
Tyrese Maxey with a tough bucket and maybe a few extra steps. pic.twitter.com/zbNaxPbe2W
— T.J. Walker (@TJWalkerKSR) July 12, 2018
UK fans will certainly love the Kentucky commit and being committed so early in the process the Big Blue Nation should be able to learn more about the future Cat. He’s tough, he’s a great scorer and selfless passer, and he’s working on bringing other five-star talent to Lexington.
Maxey’s been in the ears of several other UK targets.
“Wiseman, he’s No. 1 or No. 2 player in the country,” Maxey said. “Of course Vernon (Carey). Matthew Hurt. That’s a big one that we’re trying to get right now. I really liked his game at USA. He was a good guy, I’d like to play with him.”
Maxey said Wiseman is quiet when talking about his recruitment, along with Matthew Hurt, too. Keion Brooks and Jaden McDaniels will talk recruiting with Maxey, but he’s unsure where anyone will end up in college.
Maxey’s recruitment is over but he still will continue to recruit for UK and visit Lexington. He’s unsure of that date.