Local Star Has Plenty of Illinois Interest

Sometimes it's tough being a local star playing in the hometown of a major university, but this young man, James Kinney of Champaign, is having a great summer to date. Read here for more on Kinney.

James Kinney is a 6-1 guard from Centennial HS in Champaign (IL) and is receiving some interest from a number of DI schools: Illinois, SIU, DePaul, Iowa, Iowa State, North Dakota State, Indiana and Xavier. "Right now I'm receiving a lot of mail from all those schools, but the only offer so far is from North Dakota State," said Kinney.

Kinney currently plays AAU basketball for two teams. "I play with the Illinois Elite, but most of my time is with the Illinois Stars with DJ Richardson. Actually Coach Weber called my AAU Coach Troy Johnson about me making another visit to the campus with DJ. They would like us to come see it together," Kinney stated.

Illinois has put a number of offers on the table to many 2008-09 student athletes, but this current 2009 player hasn't received one from Weber. "They haven't offered me one, but I hope they do. I love everything about Illinois: the campus, the coaches are great, the Orange Crush, Assembly Hall. You name it; I love it," Kinney said.

Being so close to the school right there in Champaign you would think Kinney would have been around the players and the Hall a lot more, but that's not the case. "I haven't gone to the gym to work out with the team or anything, but I have with Trent because he's from my school. I've attended the Orange and Blue scrimmage and Mid Night Madness, but that's it at this point," he added.

"A lot of players have dream schools and players pick schools for a lot of reasons, but people shouldn't make an issue just because a player is from Illinois. They shouldn't assume they will play for Illinois. People need to go where they feel the most comfortable and the best situation for them. A lot of people are looking at Indiana a little more. They're showing some interest in me. They invited me to their elite camp but I was really sick and couldn't make it. But at this time I'm not going to say I have a favorite. I like all the schools recruiting me, but the Illinois atmosphere is really good and I like that," Kinney said.

James is very aggressive in his college plans. He's a strong guard that can finish in traffic, has a nice looking jump-shot, and is a good defender. Because of the size of his body and upside more schools will get involved with him. Stay tuned.

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