If you are a Kentucky Wildcats or college basketball fan you knew who De’aaron Fox was before he unleashed his speed on the NBA. Now even if you are a casual NBA fan, you have probably heard of De’Aaron Fox by now. Even if you only watch highlights occasionally, the chances are that you have seen Fox, and wondered – “Wow, how can a player really be that fast with the ball?!” Kentucky fans asked themselves that every week during De’Aaron’s freshman year.
This is a story about the life of one De’Aaron Fox, a charity foundation owner, and a semi-professional video game player. Oh, and he is also one of the best point guards today in all of basketball.
Upbringing, basketball, and videogames
Fox was raised in Houston, in a sports family. His mother Lorraine was a standout college basketball player, and his father Aaron played football at the collegiate level as well.
Young De’Aaron quickly showed that sports were in his genes, and the energetic output that we can see on the court today was evident very early on. He started playing tee-ball and football, and when his dad first took him to a basketball game – he scored 30 points in the first half alone.
After that, De’Aaron routinely played basketball with older kids, and it wasn’t hard to see his potential. Along with the trademark burst of speed, his coaches also noticed unbelievable poise and point guard savvy, as he was directing teammates on the court and making passes far beyond his age.
Believe it or not; that ability to scan the floor, find open teammates, and see plays before they happen – came from videogames according to De’Aaron.
Fox swears by them. He claims that he learned to play pick and roll from the mega-popular basketball game NBA 2K. The ability to react quickly to things on the court came from Call of Duty and other games where reaction time is crucial.
Chris Gaston, his AAU coach, and now agent thought it was a joke when Fox, then 13; came to play on his team. All the other guys on the squad were 17-18-year-olds. Soon enough, even though everybody was almost twice his size – Gaston saw that Fox was the best player on the court.
De’Aaron enrolled in the Cypress Lakes high school in Texas, where he established himself as one of the premier point guards in the country. He led his team to the state championship playoffs three times, with multiple 50-point performances. Fox was, without a doubt, a 5-star recruit, and many colleges offered him scholarships. He ultimately made the wise decision and chose Kentucky.
Kentucky / UCLA and rivalry with Lonzo Ball
Under Coach Calipari, who is known for developing top NBA players, especially guards, De’Aaron Fox’ name started coming up more and more in both NCAA and NBA circles. In his 7th college game against Arizona State, he recorded a triple-double, making him only the second Kentucky Wildcat to achieve that feat. Fox was considered one the best point guard in the country, along with Lonzo Ball.
Kentucky finished the season with a 32-6 record, with one of those losses coming to Lonzo Ball’s UCLA. When they matched up again in the March Madness tournament, the game got national attention, partly because of Lonzo’s loud father, of whom you might have heard before could not shut up about his son was going to dominate the game.
Contrary to the then-popular belief that Lonzo was a better player, De’Aaron dominated the game with 39 points and proved the doubters wrong. He led Kentucky to the Elite 8, where they would eventually lose to North Carolina. He soon after declared for the NBA draft. If he had wanted to stay at Kentucky, Cal as he has done so many times with of advised Fox to leave for the NBA because everyone knew it was time.
De’Arron Fox NBA Career
‘’De’Arron was the fifth pick in the 2017 NBA draft, by the Sacramento Kings select De’Aaron Fox’’, said NBA commissioner Adam Silver. Fox climbed to the stage and shook the commissioner’s hand, and in the first interview after being drafted, he showed breast cancer signs on the inside of his suit.
That message was because of his mother, a breast cancer survivor, with whom De’Aaron founded Fox Whole Family Foundation. The foundation serves to educate people about breast cancer and to increase testing and treatment.
This past NBA season, for every assist he made he donated a 100 dollars to Kaiser Permanente, a health consortium that is doing mammography and other breast cancer testing in the Sacramento area.
When it comes to basketball, Fox’s maiden voyage in the NBA has been fairly typical for a young player, with flashes of potential superstardom, mixed in with some mistakes. He wasn’t a great shooter, and the team played a slow tempo style of basketball which did not suit Fox’s biggest strength – speed.
The Fastest Player in the Game
While his rookie season was a bit underwhelming, things have changed for Fox as an NBA sophomore. Sacramento started playing faster, and De’Aaron showed that he could be a dominant player at his position. He led the team in assists and was second in points per game, and his shot improved dramatically.
Fox is a humble guy, mature for his age, but when it comes to basketball (and videogames), his competitiveness kicks in. He is not afraid to say that he considers himself the fastest in the game, and is not going to back down from veteran players.
The league noticed this too, and he was in the conversation for the Most Improved Player award. While he didn’t win it, almost everybody is ready to give him the unofficial fastest player in the game award.
“He makes fast people look not so fast,” said Marcus Smart of the Boston Celtics, while they were both preparing for the World Cup in China this September. Fox ultimately withdrew from playing for Team USA to prepare for the upcoming NBA season. He stated a goal of making the playoffs with the Kings, a feat that has eluded the team since 2006. Team mentality is something that is drilled by coach Calapari. Most players can talk the talk, but after a year with Cal Kentucky players learn how to walk the walk, and you see this over and over after they reach the NBA.
The Rest of the NBA, be aware, you have a speed demon on your hands – and he will not play nice. Most Kentucky Wildcat fans agree that De’Arron Fox becoming a NBA All-Star is pretty much guaranteed.
You can also find collectable De’Aaron Fox cards on eBay.