Kansas Jayhawks basketball signee shines in double-overtime win in Chipotle Nationals

Labaron Philon was terrific in the season-ending tournament
Link Academy player Labaron Philon drives to the hoop.
Link Academy player Labaron Philon drives to the hoop. / Ricardo Rolon/USA TODAY NETWORK-FLORIDA

Bill Self and the Kansas basketball program reeled in a top-five recruiting class this offseason, headlined by 5-star center Flory Bidunga, top-30 point guard Labaron Philon, and Combine Academy wing Rakease Passmore. All three players have excelled in their high school senior seasons, and Philon recently had a tremendous performance on the big stage.

Philon attends Link Academy in Missouri, and the Lions appeared in the Chipotle Nationals, which is an annual postseason invitational for the nation’s best high school basketball teams. The event was moved to Brownsburg, Indiana, and has been going on for 15 years. Notable NBA alum, including former Jayhawks Joel Embiid and Kelly Oubre Jr., have competed in it in the past.

In the quarterfinals, No. 6 seed Link Academy took on No. 3 Prolific Prep, led by top-rated recruit in the 2025 class AJ Dybantsa. While Philon's team trailed by nine points with under five minutes to go, he helped propel a comeback by hitting a pair of free throws and a 3-pointer to put his team ahead. Link Academy later won 80-76 in a double-overtime upset victory thanks to Philon.

Kansas commit Labaron Philon excels in Chipotle Nationals

Philon scored a game-high 24 points to go along with four assists and four rebounds. He was a massive reason why Link Academy was capable of pulling off the upset. In the performance, Philon displayed his excellent passing vision while making several nice finishes at the rim.

Once an Auburn commit, the Jayhawks' coaching staff has high hopes for the Link Academy point guard. He attended Baker High School in Alabama for the first three years of his high school career, earning Class 7A Player of the Year honors as a sophomore. However, he transferred to Link Academy to form one of the best backcourts in the nation next to 5-star combo guard Tre Johnson.

He might struggle to see the floor as a freshman, but Philon could take over starting point guard Dajuan Harris once he runs out of eligibility. They share many characteristics, though Philon is a much more well-rounded scorer. His performance in the Chipotle Nationals further proved that he can bud into a special player in the future.