This time last year, Christian Kirk was frustrated. As a freshman at Springfield (MO) Kickapoo, the 6-foot-7 forward was dressing for the varsity but used sparingly. This year, after a family move, Kirk is at St. Charles (MO) West where he's scoring 15 points and pulling down six rebounds a game for a 21-2 squad.
Very athletic and quick off the floor, Kirk goes to the rim strong and has a great frame to build on. He's developing a jump hook and looks to comfortable spinning in either direction to score. More than anything, he's benefiting from on the floor game experience.
"I think it's just getting a chance," says Kirk. "Last year, every time I did something bad they ripped me out and I felt like I couldn't do anything. This year, Coach Hollander is giving me an opportunity. I feel like I can do so much more."
"When Illinois comes out, they aren't really pushing me about where I need to better," Kirk told InsideIllini of the Illinois recruiting pitch. "They come out and watch and are real nice. It's like they just want to come out and see you and say Hi."
Having seen the Illini up close when he sat behind the Illini bench during their win over Missouri in December, Kirk likes what he sees.
"I think Coach Weber's a great coach," said Kirk. "They're in the top 25 right now and having a great year."
For now, Kirk is focusing on improving himself and adding to his game before arriving on a college campus.
"I see myself being a guy who can cut to the basket and go off the dribble," said Kirk of his game on the next level. "My dribbling has gone away a little but I can do that. I'd like to work on that and my shot."
With a run at the state playoffs coming in the near future, Kirk remains focused on the task at hand. He'll look at his recruiting more closely in the spring, but he's not in any kind of rush to make a decision.
"I'm just kind of waiting it out," said Kirk. "I'll probably make a decision late, late in my junior year or in the middle of my senior year."