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Considered to be one of the top five players in the 2022 class from an early stage, Chris Livingston quickly emerged as one of Kentucky’s primary recruiting targets in the cycle and became the Wildcats’ third commitment with his pledge to UK on Sept. 15.
A powerful, athletic wing, Livingston excels on the offensive end, where his blend of strength, speed and skill makes him a handful for opposing defenses. When he’s on his game, he’s nearly impossible to stop at the high school level, and that dynamic offensive ability is expected to translate immediately to his freshman season at Kentucky.
Hometown: Akron, Ohio
Oak Hill Academy (Va.)
6-foot-6, 215 pounds
247Sports: No. 5 overall
Rivals.com: No. 8 overall
ESPN.com: No. 12 overall
Livingston has put up big numbers throughout his high school career, most recently averaging 31.1 points, 15.8 rebounds, 6.1 assists, 4.7 steals and 4.0 blocked shots as a junior for Buchtel High School in Akron, earning Ohio state player of the year honors and being named a first-team junior all-American by MaxPreps.com.
Instead of returning to Akron for his senior season, Livingston decided to leave home for a greater challenge. He’ll wrap up his high school career at Oak Hill Academy (Va.) under the tutelage of Steve Smith, one of the most successful high school coaches of all time.
Livingston made an impression on Smith upon his arrival to Oak Hill following his summer on the 2021 grassroots circuit, and he’s expected to be one of the top players in the country this season.
“He came here to be challenged,” Smith said. “He could have stayed home and averaged 35 points per game, get Mr. Basketball in Ohio, and probably play half-speed. But he chose to come here. I think that says a lot about him.”
Livingston will join a Kentucky team that is expected to have several other dynamic perimeter players, including No. 1-ranked recruit Shaedon Sharpe, and John Calipari has spoken recently about possibly playing four players with guard skills at the same time moving forward. Livingston would fit that description, a power wing who is among the best slashers in high school basketball, but also one who plays an unselfish style and is always looking out for open teammates.
The UK commitment spoke highly of his first official visit to Lexington in June, and his aunt, Lisa Livingston, still lives in the city and ran track for the Wildcats during her college days.
“I know it’s a high-level blue-blood. I know all the history. I know about Coach Cal and his history,” Livingston said after his visit. “... They have some of the best fans in the country. I know a lot about Kentucky. I’ve been following Kentucky since I was younger. Being that my auntie is from Kentucky, I always paid attention to them.”
“His biggest strength is definitely his slashing ability. He’s 6-6. He’s strong. He’s really athletic. He’s a guy that, given his athleticism, he’s more than able to get by his man and get him on his hip. And then he has the strength to shield off guys. And then the athleticism to finish well above the rim and also finish through contact at the rim.” — 247Sports analyst Travis Branham
Livingston will play his senior season at the legendary Oak Hill Academy (Va.), which will compete against a national schedule in a newly formed league that will play several times on ESPN channels and streaming services. He will be eligible to officially sign with the Wildcats starting Nov. 10.