He only played roughly 1,500 minutes as a Longhorn, and he will most likely be remembered more for a suspension than any one moment during his two years at Texas.
Myck Kabongo came to Austin after wooing every college in the nation with his exciting style of play at Findlay Prep in Henderson, Nev. Findlay helped produce three other former Longhorns in Avery Bradley, Cory Joseph and Tristan Thomspon. Both Joseph and Thompson are originally from Ontario, Canada, as is Kabongo, and the connection seemed to be as strong as ever when Kabongo picked Texas over schools like Syracuse, Duke, Kentucky and North Carolina.
Two years later there are still some lasting memories from Kabongo’s time as a Longhorn. Here’s a rundown of his top five memorable moments at Texas:
1. Kabongo’s freshman year was filled with hype surrounding his frenetic pace on the court and his elite ability to pass teammates open. In his first three games at Texas, Kabongo dropped 37 points and dished out 19 assists, all while leading the Longhorns to a 2-1 record.
2. Later in his freshman year, Kabongo recorded his first collegiate double-double, a 12-point, 10-assist, showing in a loss at No. 9 Missouri. He would follow-up with a consecutive double-double in his next game with 14 points and 10 assists in another loss at Kansas State.
3. In one of Kabongo’s more forgettable games as a freshman, he failed to make a field goal and scored just two points in the Longhorns’ loss to Cincinnati in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Kabongo missed all of his field goal attempts six times his freshman year, with three of the occurrences coming in the final five games of the season. Maybe he was thinking about the NBA Draft a little bit too soon.
4. It was no secret Kabongo had plans to make the leap to the NBA at some point and this past summer, Kabongo was caught in the middle of an NCAA investigation surrounding a trip he took to Cleveland to workout with former Longhorn Tristan Thompson. The NCAA alleges Kabongo received impermissible benefits in taking the trip as well as receiving direction from trainer Jerry Powell. Following the NCAA’s investigation it was decided that Kabongo would miss the first 23 games of his sophomore season and his return was set for Feb. 13 against Iowa State.
5. His secondary debut came in the form of a riveting double-overtime win at home over the Cyclones, but it was in another overtime win two weeks later that Kabongo defined his sophomore season. Kabongo would score 31 of the Longhorns’ 92 points in their win over Oklahoma. Texas was down two points with seconds left on the clock, and as time ran out Kabongo made a shot that he could not duplicate if he tried it 100 more times. His shot from the hip as he was getting fouled made no sense and probably should have never happened, much like the entire season for Texas. His final mark on the program were 11 games as a sophomore in which he averaged 14.6 points per game and handed out an average of 5.5 assists.
Kabongo could have served as the kingpin for a still youthful Texas team had he chose to stay for his junior year, but a season marred by suspension was a far cry from the lucrative allure of becoming a professional athlete. He served his required time in college, and he now joins his Canadian cohorts as the latest player to reach the NBA under the guidance of Rick Barnes.