Zach DiSchiano talks with the state’s No. 10 prospect in the class of 2017, Kobe Magee. The San Antonio Brandeis guard has combined with Ellis Jefferson to lead the team to a 5-0 start this year. Magee is averaging 15.2 points and 5.2 rebounds per game.
ZD: When did you pick up a basketball for the first time?
KM: I think I was about 4 years old. They had like a little league, and they lowered the rims down to about six feet, that’s when I started playing. My dad put the ball in my hands, so ever since then, I’ve been playing.
When did you realize you had a chance to go D1?
Middle school. I started taking it more serious, just working out more, and that’s when my work ethic started getting a lot better, with my dad taking me to the gym. Doing stuff on my own, I just felt like I could be really good later. I just kept working.
Your first scholarship offer was UTEP, correct? Who else is in the mix, who are you liking right now?
Yes, UTEP was my first offer. Offers so far are UTEP, Sam Houston, LIU-Brooklyn, St. Francis and UTSA. I think towards the beginning of summer I’m going to start looking at the schools that have interest and are going to offer and who has offered, and look into those schools and start narrowing them. Right now it’s open.
What were your thoughts on Deon Barrett from Lancaster committing to UTEP?
I feel like he’d be a good player to play with. I feel like UTEP got a good player. I’ve seen him play before on the circuit and on YouTube and stuff, like I know of him. He’s really good.
What’s it like playing alongside Ellis Jefferson, have you been able to learn anything from him?
It’s actually really good ‘cause you know that one guy can’t do it all, so like someone tries to send a double to me, Ellis gets free. If Ellis starts getting off, they might start focusing on him, and then I get open more. We both feed off each other whenever we play, so it’s really good.
How would you describe your game, what do you bring to the table?
I’m probably one of the best perimeter passers and inside passers. I get my teammates involved in different ways. Not just my scoring ability, but I feel like my ability to pass and get my teammates open is what I’m best at.
What are you looking at adding to or improving in your game?
Honestly, just strength. I’ve been in the weightroom a lot. It’s the only thing really holding me back, ‘cause I feel like I’m a good shooter, I’m quick, I can get by, I can score good. I’m kind of undersized but I feel like if I get bigger, then I’ll be harder to stop. I’m about 6’0, 135.
Who would you say has been your biggest support?
Probably my dad. He texts me after every game, just giving me advice, like even before games and stuff. I watched him in the gym playing basketball and that’s what made me want to play basketball. He’s still good now, I can’t beat him. He played at a school in Louisiana. He was really good.
Who is the best player in the NBA?
Definitely Steph Curry, right now. I’ve always been a Kevin Durant fan ‘cause I feel like he has the most skills in the NBA, he’s the hardest to stop. I always get in an argument about who’s better, LeBron or KD, I always say KD.
Who’s music are you playing in your headphones before a game?
If you could compare yourself to an NBA player, who would it be?
I’d have to say Damian Lillard. I feel like he can score really well, but he also can get his teammates involved. I would say him or Chris Paul. I feel like I have a good feel for the game, and know what I can do in certain areas, and just know how to get my teammates involved. That’s what I focus on the most. I can score and get hot, but I like getting my teammates in the game first.
Thanksgiving or Christmas?
I’d have to say Thanksgiving right now ‘cause I need to put on some weight (laughing).
You better get like 2, 3, 4 pounds of turkey and all that other stuff.
Yeah (laughing), grandma’s got it.
What other sports do you like?
My first sport I was best at when I was little was soccer. I still really like soccer, I play FIFA on XBOX, I like soccer a lot.
You have a favorite team?
Everyone calls me a bandwagon fan for this, but it has to be Real Madrid.
Is it hard growing up as a basketball player named Kobe?
I get the question all the time, like, “Whoa, did your parents name you after Kobe?” Like no, they didn’t even really like Kobe. But I mean, I guess it’s cool. No one is really named Kobe. People are like, “wait, that’s your real name? What’s your actual name?”
Have you practiced your landings after you dunk? (Editor’s note: Watch this video to see what we’re talking about –
— Brandeis Basketball (@BrandeisHoops) November 8, 2015
Look at my other ones! Did you see the recent one where I dunked yesterday?
No, I only saw the one where you fell and looked like a scrub.
OK look at the other one posted on my Instagram. But yeah, that first one, that was in our scrimmage, and I was like so hyped. But my mission was to hold on to the rim, that’s why I picked up my legs, to like hold my legs up, but I didn’t so my legs just went everywhere.
Have people been giving you a hard time for that?
My coach did, as you can see the thing he put on Twitter, “Didn’t stick the landing though.” It’s whatever, I got my opportunity again, and I landed. I looked at him and told him I landed at the game.
What’s the goals for your high school team this year?
Definitely win our region. If we can win our region, we’re shooting for state. Every year we’re shooting for state, but we’ve come up short. Region is definitely our goal.
Can you talk about the difference between the level of talent in public school and private school in Texas?
It’s actually like a lot different. It seems like in Texas, or at least in San Antonio, our private schools don’t really get the looks from colleges. I feel like more colleges will look at the public schools just ‘cause the talent just seems a lot better. I mean, some prep schools are good, maybe one or two kids, but public schools definitely have the best competition.
Why do you think that is?
I think because it’s been public so long, that people never really switched it up and just went to private school. I think they just went with the flow and decided to go public school since it’s been good, why start something else?
We need to get your followers up on Twitter.
Look, I had about 800 followers like before the summer started, but then my Twitter started acting up so I had to make another one. That’s why. But if you look at my Instagram, I have a lot more. I’ve had my Instagram since like 8th grade, I’ve had my Twitter for like five months.
Maybe we can get your followers up this basketball season if you post some more videos of you dunking and not falling down.
I’m telling you, follow me on Instagram and go look at the most recent video posted.
Thanks so much to Kobe for the interview. You can follow him on Twitter (he needs it) at @MageeKobe and on Instagram, if you want to see the video of him dunking and sticking the landing, at kobemagee.