Kenny Isnord is no stranger to adversity. A late introduction to basketball at a high level, Isnord uprooted his life to pursue the sport, experienced both the highs of DI recruitment, the lows of ineligibility and survived the devastation of Hurricane Dorian.
With his life and career hanging in the balance, Isnord joined Raw Talent, an organisation founded by fellow Bahamian pro Kino Burrows, and found new opportunities to reinvigorate his career.
Now headed to GBA Academy in the Czech Republic, Isnord looks to take his game to the next level and embark on a new chapter in his career.
10YS: What first attracted you to the game of basketball?
KI: I grew up watching my old man play and he used to dunk the ball like crazy.
One day he dunked on this person so bad the whole gym shut down and I said to myself I want to do that one day and from that day on every time I walked on a court, I would try to dunk over and over again and as time went on I eventually fell in love with the game.
10YS: There’s a difference in just playing and pursuing the game at a high level. When did your mindset shift toward perfecting your craft?
KI: I was 16 when I realized in order to get to where I wanted to be and achieve my goals I’d have to make that move and go off to school.
The transition to the US wasn’t that bad off the court, honestly I was just happy and blessed to be there.
On the court was tough because everybody was better than me and at the time I was just learning how to play.
I was 6’4” in the 11th grade riding the bench, getting clowned when I got in the games because I would travel, drop a nice pass or kick the ball off my foot whenever I tried to dribble or make a move.
It was tough but life ain’t ever been easy and adversity wasn’t new to me so I just kept on fighting cause I knew in the end all my hard work would pay off.
10YS: Your last two years in high school and on the AAU circuit you started to get more recruitment buzz, how did that come about?
KI: I got on the AAU circuit in the summer of 2017 playing with Coach Brandon Mcthay and the Florida Vipers.
He worked and trained us everyday but my skill level still wasn’t where it needed to be to get any offers but before every game he would come up to us and give the team one of those heartfelt speeches and coming from where I’m from every word he said hit me hard so when game time came I played extra hard, fought for every rebound and made an effort to block every shot that I could with his words ringing through my mind.
In return for my effort I got my 1st offer on July 16, 2017 from FGCU and I couldn’t believe it!
Then inthe summer of 2018 I got back on the AAU circuit playing for Team Breakdown alongside my fellow Bahamian Kai Jones and had a great summer.
It was fun knowing that we both came from the same place and made it as far as we did, seeing each other excel and do great.
I departed from Team Breakdown after a few sessions and joined Showtime Ballers playing for Coach Diana Gillion.
She believed in me and gave me the chance to showcase more of what I could do and from there I took off and never looked back.
Coaches started calling and offers started rolling in. Everything was perfect, I was happy playing my best basketball and life was good.
10YS: There were offers from the Division I programs but none of that materialized and you happened to be home in Abaco with your family during Hurricane Dorian, what was the worst part about that experience for you?
KI: The worst part of the storm was watching my little sister and my mom holding on to each other in the bathroom while me and my old man stood blocking the door from all the water entering the room and debris flying around the house.
I couldn’t believe it when the roof started lifting and I could see the outside of the house. I was trying to stay calm but on the inside I was losing it because seeing the two people you love the most in this world scared for their lives and you can’t do nothing about it. It hurts, but God kept us safe.
10YS: At this point, how did you become involved with Raw Talent?
KI: Kino Burrows reached out to me and spoke about an opportunity in France at an academy. A place where the main focus would be on the development of my skills.
I saw what he did with Domnick Bridgewater and all the success Nado achieved all in just a year so I trusted him and went with it.
I went to France in September of 2019 with nothing and by Gods grace came back with a few options on the table.
We chose The GBA in Prague, Czech Republic because it’s the best fitting situation for me, the development of my skills and the future of my career.
10YS: How has Raw Talent helped to guide your career thus far since you joined?
KI: It’s been a great experience since joining Raw Talent.
I got the opportunity to compete and play against many high level D1 schools like Georgetown and Memphis in the Summer of Thunder.
I got the chance to travel to Europe and see how life is on the other side of the world, learn about their culture and see how they view the game of basketball and now I’m on my way to The GBA in Prague, Czech Republic where there is much work to be done.