October 28, 2010

CMU after JUCO forward William Kirksey

A new name on the Central Michigan recruiting front is junior college sophomore William Kirksey, a 6-foot-8 and 265 pound post player who is quickly rising up the recruiting rankings. Last season Kirksey played for Southeastern Illinois College (IL) and averaged 13 points and 6 rebounds as a freshman, and more importantly he led them to the National Tournament in Hutchinson, Kansas as SIC would finish 8th nationally. Kirksey would be named to the All-Tournament team after averaging 14 points and 9 rebounds during his team's run.

"The season went pretty good," said Kirksey. "It was kind of a transition to learn how to play in the post and in the offense, but overall the season went real good."

But due to a coaching change, Kirksey made the move to Southwestern Illinois College this season and he will be spending his last season in junior college playing for the Blue Storm. What SWIC will be getting is a 6-foot-8 big man with solid post moves, a nice outside jump shot, and a defensive mentality that cannot be taught.

"My strengths are mainly just playing good post defense," added Kirksey. "I like to be physical and grab a lot of rebounds. And then running the floor and finishing at the other end."

Numerous Division 1 programs have noticed Kirksey's talent, including Iowa, Coastal Carolina, Auburn, Missouri State, Illinois State and Central Michigan. Recently Kirksey had a chance to visit Mount Pleasant and take in the Central Michigan Chippewas program.

"It was pretty good. It definitely feels like a family there, and everyone has those close bonds. And I had a chance to see where their program was heading, they brought Trey Zeigler in and you can see the direction that they are trying to go in. The coaches were really cool, they are serious on the court but off the court they are real laid back and easy to talk to."

And Chippewa fans might not have to wait long to hear whether Kirksey becomes the second member of their 2011 class.
"Hopefully soon," said Kirksey on when he wants to make a decision. "I just have to feel comfortable, and I will just sit down with my mother and uncle and pick the school that is best for me. I'm just looking for the right fit, somewhere where I'm needed and I can come in and contribute. Just a place that offers me the best chance at success."

With his size and basketball mentality, Kirksey has tried to model his game after his favorite NBA player, current New York Knick Amare Stoudemire.

"Amare Stoudemire is my favorite player. He just goes hard, runs the floor and he's a good finished. But he's a little more of a power player than I am, especially when he finishes," laughed Kirksey.

Kirksey played his high school ball at Lafayette High in Ballwinn, Missouri, and he was the high school teammate of 2009 Illinois commit Tyler Griffin. Kirksey is coached by Jay Harrington at Southwestern Illinois College, and Harrington has compiled a 613-362 record at SWIC as he begins his 31st year as Blue Storm head coach. Last season SWIC went 31-4 overall and they sent three players to Division 1 programs Alabama, Illinois and Missouri.

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