When the Kings drafted Kyle Guy I looked at stats and his bio and learned in high school he’d been Mr. Basketball in hoops-crazed Indiana. I also noticed several videos of Guy and a young woman. I clicked one called: “Reading Kyle Guy’s Hate Mail” filmed in early 2019. He and fiancée Alexa Jenkins munched leafy green deli salads as they talked. She wielded the phone, reading messages that followed just one game. A few examples: “Kyle Guy’s still playing? He’s a douche bag; He looks like the dude who says, ‘touch me, and my father will sue you’; He looks like a punk; He’ll flame out at the NBA combine.”
Kyle and Alexa smiled resignedly while discussing abuse that worsened: “I want to punch him in the face; Someone should take Kyle Guy out at halftime; I hope you die.”
What prompted such perverse remarks? In 2018 Virginia became the first top-seeded team in NCAA tournament history to lose a game to the bottom seed, in this case University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Kyle Guy had already begun taking medication for anxiety when he wrote a letter he and Alexa posted online and the blog sactownroyalty recently excerpted, “Walking around campus with everyone staring and giving disgusting looks was hard. Every person knew my business. Everyone knew our every move… It made me feel claustrophobic and when privacy is not on the table you begin to be jealous of the freedom of the wind.”
Kyle asked the coaching staff and a sports psychologist to help him, and today recommends those in trouble discuss problems with health professionals. Alexa also provided much support. She and Kyle have been dating since eighth grade and will marry in Hawaii later this month.
During his recent junior season at the University of Virginia he averaged more than fifteen points, four rebounds, two assists, and forty-two percent beyond the arc. And in close games during the NCAA tournament he hit clutch jumpers and free throws to sustain games while his team plowed to the national championship.
On videos I see a slender player who stands six-two, features long lean arms, and isn’t as imposing as most NBA backcourt men. Physically, point guard seems the fit but he hasn’t played there much and usually behaves like a small shooting guard who focuses on scoring but also senses where teammates are as he guides no-look touch passes into their hands.
Right now, Kyle Guy’s looking for a job during three games at the California Classic in Sacramento. In his debut, against the Warriors, he faces former Kings’ lottery pick Jimmer Fredette, at age thirty returning from three years in the Chinese pro league and scoring fourteen points as he tries to get back into the NBA. Guy is only twenty-one at twenty-one and says he knows he’s an NBA player, and produces like one, faking before he drives and hitting a pull-up jumper, and converting a hook on the baseline, and nailing a three-pointer which, judging by his nice stroke, may become his signature shot when he earns a spot in the Kings rotation or that of another team. Late in the game he rises at the top of the arc and guides in a three, giving the Kings a one-point lead. He finishes with ten points on four of seven from the field and his team wins by four.
The following night, versus the Heat, Guy hits three threes and totals an efficient thirteen points in a loss. Before going to the Las Vegas Summer League, the Kings play the Lakers in a pre-holiday afternoon game, and Guy moves around the arc, finding openings, and sinks three more threes. He scores fourteen points during a late loss and looks comfortable all over the court. Scouting reports say he isn’t fast or quick enough to stop NBA point guards or sufficiently large to battle big guards. That may not matter. In Kyle Guy I sense the “it” factor. He plays best when challenged.
Sources: YouTube Video “Reading Kyle Guy’s Hate Mail’; Sactown Royalty story “Kyle Guy is redefining what it means to be mentally tough”; Wikipedia; basketball-reference.com