Bloomington – College basketball coaches were surfacing at Medina (Ohio) High School football practices this fall.
Why? That's where 6'7", 210-pound sophomore Kenny Kaminski could be found. A rising star in the Class of 2012 as a basketball recruit, Kaminski is a tight end on Medina's 4-3 football team as well. So instead of going to Medina H.S. to watch Kaminski work out in open gym, basketball coaches like Michigan State's Tom Izzo have instead stood on the sidelines and watched Kaminki catch passes and block defensive ends.
Medina High School basketball coach Jody Peters said Michigan State, Michigan, Ohio State and West Virginia have all been by the high school at some point this fall to express their interest in Kaminski, and other schools such as Indiana have been in contact by phone to do the same.
It's all about trying to get a foot in the door for a player who has a chance to be special, according to Peters.
"I think he has a huge upside," Peters said. "He's one of our best perimeter shooters, and he's also pretty athletic, he has good feet, good hands. I think as he continues to grow and develop you'll see a young man that's going to be very versatile."
Some of that early recruiting attention is already paying off. Kaminski traveled to East Lansing, Mich., last weekend for an unofficial visit to the Michigan State program, and he's expected in Bloomington Friday night for IU's kick-off to the 2009-10 basketball season, Hoosier Hysteria.
Kaminski began getting people's attention last year as a high school freshman when he averaged 10 points per game and four rebounds. That interest intensified after a very good AAU season where he was able to show off an ability to play all over the floor.
"Being 6'7" and 210 pounds as a sophomore, his size sets him apart," Peters said. "But he's also a very skilled player. He can step out on the floor and knock down shots. He's one of our better 3-point shooters, and I think the last couple of years with AAU ball, that has caught some people's eyes."
But Peters believes there's more to Kaminski than just a soft touch from the perimeter and a great deal of promise for the future. He also believes that Kaminski is every bit as good of a person as he is a player.
"He's a great young man, someone who has his head screwed on straight," Peters said. "He's a character guy, a hard worker in the classroom. He understands the relationship between school and basketball and being a role model even though he's only going to be a sophomore for us. He's a real gentleman, and I'm really glad we've got him for three more years."
During those three years, Kaminski role on the team figures to expand at a rate commensurate with his notoriety. Peters said Kaminski was primarily a spot-up shooter for the team last winter, but that should change this season.
"He's grown physically and he's grown as a player," Peters said. "I'd love to say he's going to be a double-double guy for us this season. He had a great freshman year against guys that were three or four years old than him, and how with that year under his belt he's ready to take it to another level. He'll be a focal point of what we do offensively and defensively."
Kaminski also figures to become more of a focal point of college programs as their attention turns to the 2012 class. Peters said that Kaminski and his family are already looking at the various programs that have expressed interest, but his recruitment remains in the infancy stages.
"I know right now he's wide open and he and his family are trying to knock on as many doors as they can and try to find the best fit," Peters said. "There are a lot of great schools that have expressed interest, and they're trying to do the research and see what might separate schools from others."
With that said, Peters said there's a lot to like about the IU program, whether you're Kaminski or any other recruit who hears from Tom Crean's staff.
"I can tell Indiana is very, very interested in Kenny," Peters said. "It would be difficult to look past Indiana with the great tradition they've had and being in the Big Ten and being a Midwest school. It's an exciting time for Kenny and his family."
Kaminski Has Attention of IU, Others
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