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Kai Rogers Q&A

The state of Wisconsin has been experiencing a recent surge in local talent to make the NBA, with the likes of Tyrese Haiiburton, Tyler Herro and Johnny Davis all currently on rosters. Class of 2025 big man Kai Rogers looks to carry on that legacy. At nearly 6’10” and 227 pounds with a 7’1” wingspan, Rogers only started playing basketball a few short years ago in the seventh grade. Since then, he’s transformed his body, has picked up a number of high major offers and is starting to emerge as one of the more skilled two-way bigs in his class.

As part of the Pro Insight Q&A series, Rogers discusses how he got his start in basketball, the work he put in to improve his body, the booming basketball culture in Wisconsin, his recruitment update, off-court interests, and much more.

For the next installment of the Pro Insight Q&A series, we present 2025 prospect Kai Rogers, from Milwaukee, Wisconsin:

Pro Insight: Talk about your basketball journey — how did you get to where you are today?

Kai Rogers: So I didn’t start playing basketball until about seventh grade and the only reason I started playing was because I was kinda bored and wasn’t really doing anything. I only played baseball, so after the summer I didn’t have anything to do and basketball became my winter thing to do. That’s how I got into it, really. After that I just kept playing basketball for school teams. Then one tournament an AAU coach came up to me and asked me what AAU team I play for and I didn’t know what AAU was. So he invited me to come practice on his team and that’s how I started playing basketball.

PI: Were you naturally talented at basketball from the start?

KR: I wouldn’t say I was naturally good, but I kinda felt like I knew what I was doing. I just had to get better at it.

PI: Do you still play baseball or are you solely focused on basketball?

KR: I do basketball full time now and what made me do that is realizing I have a future in this. People see something in me. And I just played baseball for fun, so that wasn’t too hard to give up.

PI: What made you fall in love with basketball?

KR: Just being with a team — a basketball team is completely different than a baseball team. A basketball team is really close…you have to be to win games. That’s what I really like about basketball, being connected with people.

PI: What are your current measurements?

KR: Last time I was measured I was 6’9.75” and my wingspan was 7’1”. I’m 227 pounds.

PI: Where does your size come from?

KR: My mom is around 6’1-2” and my grandpa on her side is 6’10” as well. So that’s where my height comes from. My dad worked out a lot so I also have good genetics with that.

PI: Did your parents or other family members also play sports?

KR: Not any that played professional sports, but my grandpa played baseball and basketball in high school as well. My dad played basketball a lot, too. I have one little brother and he plays basketball and football, but is just getting into it now. He started late like I did.

PI: Were you ever tempted to play football?

KR: Yeah, I really wanted to play when I was in fifth grade, but my mom was like “no it’s too dangerous.” Then a few years ago we went to the doctor and he was explaining how safe football actually is so she let my brother play, but I didn’t get the chance.

PI: Talk about the basketball culture in Wisconsin.

KR: Basketball culture in Wisconsin has definitely grown over the past five years because a lot of people have just gotten into the NBA. High school basketball in Wisconsin is amazing, everybody loves it and it’s very competitive if you’re in the right conference. Way up north it’s probably a little less competitive, just normal basketball. But down in western and southeastern Wisconsin, it’s really big and very competitive. Would definitely say finals in March is a big thing, sometimes they call school off for that so you can go watch the game. They’ll provide a bus for the team and student section to go.

PI: Have you gotten to know some of the current NBA players from Wisconsin?

KR: I haven’t personally, but one of my teammates, TJ Stuttley knows Johnny Davis pretty well. They’re from the same place. But I haven’t talked to him.

PI: Describe your game — what are some of your greatest strengths?

KR: My strengths are playing with my back to the basket as a post player and I have good length on defense. I can block shots easily and get to where I need to be. I’m also a very good passer and can pass the ball if I need to. If I get double-teamed I can find the open guy. I have a very soft touch. I used to be able to shoot the 3, but my form was a little crooked. Now that I’m fixing my form, I’m getting that back, too.

PI: What about some improvement areas?

KR: Definitely ball-handling. I used to be a little sketchy with my ball-handling, but I can bring it up the court now if I need to. And again, shooting is an improvement area.

PI: What would you say is an underrated aspect of your game?

KR: I’d say passing sometimes, like opposing teams don’t really expect my passes. Over the past year I’ve also lost a lot of weight, so this year it’d be my speed and agility that’s improved since losing about 50 pounds.

PI: Wow! Can you elaborate on how that happened?

KR: I used to not eat very well for being an athlete — used to eat a lot of fast food and junk food. So I had to cut that out completely for about three months to lose a bunch of weight. I got on the stationary bike a lot, did a lot of cardio and light lifting consisting of more reps. That helped me lose weight pretty fast. Then after I lost weight, in order to build more muscle, I started putting more protein back in my diet and lifting heavier weights.

PI: What clicked for you mentally when it came to changing your previous habits?

KR: It was definitely the coaches and people around me. I was fine being how I was, but they talked to me and said if I really want to do this then I need to take care of my body. Your body is important for longevity and you can’t have a bad body and have a long career. So I wanted to get the best body I could as fast as possible — well not as fast as possible, but I just wanted to get it done. I didn’t want to get to college and be behind on my body. That’s one of the problems guys can have, they get to college and they have to work on their body more than their game. So I want to get there and focus on my game and develop myself as a player.

PI: Talk about your summer with Wisconsin Playground — how was it?

KR: Playground is an amazing program, it’s been through a lot of changes, but everyone is a family there and that’s what I like about it. The start of the summer was great, we were winning our games, but I would say to start it was a little awkward for me since I was going through that weight change. I had to kinda get my feel back because I was so much lighter, but after I got comfortable it was a breeze.

PI: What are you hoping to show college coaches and scouts this season?

KR: I’m definitely going to start showing off my shot more by shooting threes more often in games. Whether I make them or not, I want to get comfortable shooting them and by the time winter comes I’ll be knocking them down.

PI: What are some of your goals for this upcoming high school season?

KR: Personal goals, I want to average 15 points since I averaged 10 points last season and 5 points is good growth. I want to average 10-12 rebounds, that should be pretty easy for me. And I’d say 8-10 blocks.

PI: What’s the latest with your recruitment?

KR: I wouldn’t say I’m interested in any particular school yet, I’m seeing what there is still. Next year is when I’ll make my decision, but I want to take it slow and get a feel for every school that I can. Offers I have right now are Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, Michigan State, Georgetown, Tennessee, Texas and Ole Miss. Those are the main ones. And out of those, I’d say Georgetown is keeping in contact with me the most.

PI: Any schools you’d like to hear from?

KR: No, I’m not really looking for any school. Whatever comes, comes.

PI: Have you taken any unofficial visits or do you have any planned?

KR: I’ve taken five unofficials, three of them being this year. I went to Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan State this fall. Last year I went to Notre Dame and Iowa.