Editor’s note: The Oklahoma City Thunder selected G Cason Wallace with the No. 10 pick in the first round of the 2023 NBA Draft on June 22.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (BVM) — Many kids that have a keen eye on Kentucky basketball have found their new role model in star freshman Cason Wallace.
On every possession of every minute in every game, Wallace is giving 100%.
Highly regarded for his elite defense, the 6-foot-4, 193-pound guard has emerged as a top NBA prospect, recently going No. 9 overall in ESPN’s Jonathan Givony’s most recent mock draft.
Cason Wallace showed why he's a projected lottery pick and one of the best defenders in college basketball in the Champions Classic, posting 8 steals to go along with 14 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists. Put the clamps on and did a lot of little things on both ends. pic.twitter.com/0LfQwgrGBh
— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) November 16, 2022
But like many of the kids watching in the stands or on TV, Wallace wanted to be the best version of himself. His way of unlocking this was by playing with his older brother, Keaton, who is now a member of the Ontario Clippers in the G League.
He proved himself despite the four-year age gap and ultimately was embraced on the court by the older crowd.
“Every time I played with my older brother and his team, they always showed me love and treated me like a little brother,” Cason said. “That’s a memory I can always go back to.”
As Cason got older and older, he got better and better.
He was ranked as the No. 5 player in the country coming out of high school by 247 Sports and essentially had the opportunity to play anywhere he wanted to.
But for him, Kentucky was it.
“It was a dream school since I was a little kid,” he said. “I’m able to fulfill one of my dreams.”
The dreams that Cason had when he was younger are now becoming reality. But despite his success to this point, there is never a point of satisfaction, partly what sets him apart from the rest.
“I just set goals for myself when I was young and I went and chased every single one of them,” Wallace said. “I thank God that I’m starting to reach many of my goals. I’m going to set new ones here soon.”
Cason is in an atypical situation for a 19-year-old with his prowess on the court, but he does not let that change who he is off the court, still experiencing all of what the University of Kentucky can offer.
“I just try to live my life regularly,” Wallace said. “I think of myself as a regular person and a regular human being. I just live my life.”
With all that Wallace has accomplished so far in his career already, the position that he has put himself in Lexington is the one that he is most proud of.
“Just getting to play with Kentucky,” Wallace said. “Actually getting on the court and performing with these guys is one of my biggest accomplishments.”
As far as what Cason wants to achieve in the future is to be determined. Rather than getting caught up in the draft talk, he is focused on the present, planning to do everything in his power to make the Wildcats the best basketball team they can be.