Kevin Knox Sr. would have named all his sons Kobe if he could.
Knox Sr., who won an NCAA championship in football at Florida State, named his first son, Kevin, after himself. Kevin Knox is the Knicks’ 2018 lottery pick.
Kevin Sr.’s second son is Kobe Knox. He has a third son — Karter.
Kobe Knox, whom his older brother frequently drops in conversation, is a 6-5 senior shooting guard for Tampa Catholic and will select a Division I school during spring’s late-signing period.
“We did name Kobe after Kobe Bryant and he embraced it,” Kevin Knox Sr. told The Post regarding his middle son. “Our family has always been hard-working — our motto as a family was nobody worked harder than the Knoxes. And so I just embedded that work ethic into the name. No matter what’s going on, to continue to keep working.
“I saw that from (my son) Kobe and I had that in my own professional career. It was the about the work ethic so it went hand and hand. My kids are always in the gym shooting, working out.”
Kevin Knox Sr. was coaching his daughter Ashley’s youth basketball team in Tampa when he learned the tragic news of Bryant’s death from, yes, Kobe, calling him Sunday mid-game.
“He said, Daddy, Kobe just died in a helicopter crash,” said Knox Sr., a wide receiver drafted by the Buffalo Bills in 1994. “We were in the gym and told the parents during the timeout. I basically announced it to the gym and a lot them were crying. It was crazy and we still played.”
Kevin Knox II hasn’t yet talked to the media about Bryant’s death.
“Our two boys (Kevin/Kobe) are in a quiet, somber mood,” Knox Sr. said. “My wife is a psychology major, she was in the field and she’s mentioned all our kids are a little mentally distraught. They grew up with the Kobe Bryant/LeBron James era. They looked up to them. We watched film together on (Bryant) with Kevin, Kobe, Karter, Ashley and talked on his work ethic. They’re a little down and we’re going to have to continue talking to them.”
It’s Knox tradition for the family to all be together on New Year’s Eve — four kids and parents. Last season, the Knox gang flew to Denver, where the Knicks played.
This season the Knicks had a home game Jan. 1 and the family spent time on New Year’s Eve at the Knicks’ training facility in Tarrytown. Very Kobe-like.
“We bring it in together at the gym,” Knox Sr. said. “The whole family was in the gym New Year’s Eve practicing, shooting. But we were able to get home by 11:50 p.m. to count it down together.”
Kobe Knox is not a Top-10 recruit like his older brother at Kentucky, but is mulling Division I offers from University of San Diego, Oklahoma State, Holy Cross, UNC-Greensboro and University of Detroit, among others.
Kobe Knox is averaging 16.5 points and 4.2 assists.
“He’s trying to find that one school that absolutely loves Kobe and the things he brings to the table,” Knox Sr. said. “He’s still young, 17.”
For more on the Kobe Bryant tragedy, listen to the latest episode of the “Big Apple Buckets” podcast:
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