Booneville standout Geno gets his SEC wish

By Brandon Speck/NEMS Daily Journal

Kenny Paul Geno wants to play in the Southeastern Conference and Georgia has offered him an opportunity.
Booneville’s 6-foot-6 small forward committed to the Bulldogs on Wednesday and will sign a national letter-of-intent in a ceremony this morning at the Booneville High School gym.
It will be the last of many memorable moments – including highlight reel dunks and game-clinching 3-pointers – Geno has created for the Blue Devils in that arena. He helped lead the Blue Devils to three state championship games and a 3A state title in 2011.
“I’ve always dreamed of playing in the SEC. Georgia was it,” Geno said.
The Bulldogs made an offer Tuesday. Geno met with his parents and Booneville High coach Michael Smith that night to discuss his options. Middle Tennessee State, Delta State, Jacksonville State, Lamar, Mercer, Radford and Union had all made offers.
Geno called Georgia assistant Philip Pearson early Wednesday to commit. The Bulldogs have offered him a chance to play as a freshman.
“It’s exciting, big for me, but big for our little town. I’m proud to represent Booneville and Northeast Mississippi,” Geno said.
Geno was named the 2012-13 Daily Journal Player of the Year after averaging a double-double this senior season with 23 points and 14 rebounds.
He drew interest from several other schools, Mississippi State among them. The Bulldogs offered a walk-on position. National champion Louisville called Monday and offered a four-year, walk-on spot.
Geno said he and his family were on the same page with what Georgia offered athletically and academically. They met with an academic advisor on Geno’s official visit to Athens. The Bulldogs made the first trip, flying here to watch Geno workout on March 27.
“I just wanted to play in the SEC. I really didn’t (decide) until last night,” Geno said. “The campus was just amazing. It will be fun to play Mississippi State and Ole Miss. There will be more of my people at the games, too. It’ll be fun.”
brandon.speck@journalinc.com