COLUMBUS, Ohio -- On the morning of a day that has since changed Taevion Kinsey's life, the Eastmoor Academy junior guard tweeted "God's got me today."
Kinsey's words proved to be prophetic as the 6-foot-4 wing would later hit the biggest shot of his life - up to that point - draining a fadeaway three from the right corner to snap South's undefeated season on the road on Feb. 7.
Since then, Kinsey's life has been altered. Going on to lead Eastmoor to a share of the Columbus City League South division title, Kinsey would take his heroics a few steps further. Again knocking out South, Kinsey led Eastmoor to a Division II district title a month later. Not stopping there, the junior guard willed the Warriors to its first-ever Division II regional title, leading Eastmoor to the state semifinals.
While Eastmoor would fall to Wauseon on the floor of Value City Arena, Kinsey's successes would not slow down. In the midst of a recruiting blowup, Kinsey has been the target of more than a half dozen Division I programs all over the region.
"I've been hearing from Northern Illinois, Ohio, West Virginia, Valparaiso, UT-Martin, Rice and Miami (OH)," Kinsey told 270 Hoops.
Already holding an offer from Stony Brook, Kinsey is expecting that list to grow very soon. As coaches have been impressed with Kinsey's athleticism from the very beginning, it is his leadership and motor that are starting to pay dividends.
"I think my game is starting to mature a little because I have no fear now," Kinsey said. "I am willing to take big-time shots, make or miss, and [two to three years ago] I was not able to do that. Now I have accepted the leadership role and I live for it. I like taking responsibility for the outcome of my team."
Taking an Eastmoor program that had just won seven games for the entire 2015-16 season, Kinsey would need to step up to be the alpha dog for a team with many pieces, but not one true leader up to the beginning of his junior season. Assuming that leadership role, Kinsey has evolved into an entirely different player while Eastmoor has racked up wins.
"I feel [leading Eastmoor to the state tournament] changed my life a little, as far as my name getting some buzz now," Kinsey said. "But I am staying very humble and I have way more to improve on. My recruitment has blown up also but I feel with more work, I can get bigger schools."
Running on the Adidas circuit with OH-Nova alongside four-star forward Jerome Hunter, Kinsey will have a chance to showcase different parts of his game that may not have been as evident in the high school season - while playing in front of a bevy of high-major programs tracking Hunter.
"More scoring and also passing because those guys can flat out go," Kinsey said of what he is able to show in AAU. "I can really show my passing ability and also my defense along the perimeter."
Primarily resuming the point guard role for Eastmoor, Kinsey is excited about being able to show how he can work off the ball to score for an OH-Nova team where the junior plays more of a combo-guard role.
This past weekend in Fort Wayne, Kinsey excelled alongside Hunter and four-star wing Darius Bazley, who played with the group for the weekend. Showcasing his perimeter defense, passing and elite vision, Kinsey showed an ability to still be mightily effective, even if he isn't the primary scorer.
Putting more time into the gym and weight room, Kinsey feels his upside is as great as he wants it to be. Putting up big numbers and more importantly, winning, on the big stage, Kinsey is ready to take the next step forward in his development as an all-around basketball player.
"I think with major work I can become one of the best in Columbus," Kinsey said.
Columbus? Kinsey has already done that. The next step is to take Ohio by storm. And if the next few months go anything like the last few, Kinsey will do just that.