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Former Vol basketball player Kennedy Chandler staying home to play for Grizzlies

The Chef will keep cooking in West Tennessee.
The Chef will keep cooking in West Tennessee.
Published: Jun. 23, 2022 at 11:35 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - The Chef will keep cooking in West Tennessee. Former UT guard Kennedy Chandler was selected by 38th overall by San Antonio in the 2022 NBA Draft Thursday evening.

The Spurs traded Chandler to Memphis for a future second round pick and cash considerations.

Chandler chose to watch the draft on television with his family in his hometown of Memphis. The 2022 SEC Tournament MVP and freshman All-American brings speed, defensive prowess and a high level of basketball IQ to the Grizzlies.

The six-footer finished his first and only season at Tennessee with team-high averages in points (13.9), assists (4.7) and steals (2.2) per game. Chandler announced he was declaring for the draft in early April - shortly after UT’s second-round exit in the NCAA Tournament.

Chandler’s affinity for finding open teammates on offense became evident almost immediately and only got better as the 2022 season went on. The freshman finished with 161 total assists to go along with his 473 points scored - meaning Chandler had a hand in more than a third of Tennessee’s total scoring last season.

Before claiming two SEC Freshman of the Week honors, Chandler helped lead USA Basketball’s U19 team to the gold medal at the 2021 FIBA U19 World Cup by averaging 7.7 points, 3.4 assists, 2.9 rebounds and 1.4 steals per game to go along with a 1.7 assist-turnover ratio.

Chandler was a consensus five-star prospect before arriving on Rocky Top and rated as the nation’s top point guard in the class of 2021 by ESPN. A Memphis native, Chandler prepped at Sunrise Christian Academy in Kansas his senior year - leading the team to its first-ever appearance in the GEICO Nationals Tournament.

Before moving to Kansas to finish his high school career, Chandler earned back-to-back Mr. Basketball honors in Tennessee as a sophomore and junior at Briarcrest Christian School.

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