Alexander “Sasha” Kaun, the Florida Air Academy center who captured the attention of the top Basketball programs in the country, has announced his decision to attend the University of Kansas next year. He will sign a letter of intent Nov. 12.
Florida Air Academy is a college preparatory boarding and day school in Melbourne, FL for young men in grades 6 through 12.
“I am very excited,” remarked Sasha, “I can’t wait to get to the University. This has been a learning process, and I have met lots of wonderful people, but I am relieved it is over.” The 6’11”, 245 lb. senior is a straight “A” honors student who is a native of Tomsk, Russia.
He helped lead the Academy’s Basketball team to an undefeated season and Florida State Championship title in 2003.
For the past year, Sasha has been courted by about a hundred colleges and universities including: Florida, Florida State, Duke, Michigan, Michigan State, Stanford, Georgetown, Penn State, Georgia Tech, Louisville, and Connecticut.
Sasha’s top three choices were Michigan State, Duke, and Kansas and he made visits this fall to each campus. “It was a very hard decision,” Sasha said. “All of them have tremendous academic and athletic programs. Kansas just felt like a better fit for me.”
Some of college basketball’s leading coaches made the trip to the Melbourne, Florida campus to visit and recruit Sasha, including Bill Self from Kansas, Coach “K” from Duke, Rick Pitino from Louisville, Billy Donovan from Florida, Tom Izzo from Michigan State, and Leonard Hamilton from Florida State.
The coaches have expressed an interest in Sasha’s offensive ability to “post up”, run the floor and pass effectively. His defensive abilities as a shot blocker, re-bounder and all around team player make him a plus for any team. In short, Sasha is a complete package who expects to be an academic All-American as well as an NBA hopeful.
A number of factors led to Sasha choosing Kansas. “I was very impressed with the quality of their academics as well as their basketball program, and I really like the coaching staff. I know I can learn a lot from Coach Self and his staff.“
He is looking forward to becoming a part of the Jayhawks winning tradition. Sasha hopes to contribute to that tradition when he joins the team next year and will continue working hard to improve his skills and develop his talent. He plans to major in computer sciences at Kansas.
“This has been a long, very involved process,” according to Falcons head basketball Coach Aubin Goporo. “This past summer, Sasha dominated many highly ranked big men in several tournaments, and from that point on the press, coaches, and fans across the country all started calling. It has been non-stop since.”
“Sasha has a terrific work ethic and is committed to developing his skills,” said FAA’s coach Goporo.
Coach Goporo has worked with Sasha since he came to FAA in the 10th grade. “Sasha will be a strong member of their team and community,” Goporo said. “We have seen great things from him and I know there is a lot more to come.”
Although the spotlight is on his athletic abilities, Sasha is also a leader off the court. At the Academy, he is a Cadet Lt. Colonel and Squadron Commander, directly responsible for the welfare of 65 students.
“It has been a real pleasure to watch Sasha grow as a person as well as athletically and academically over the past three years,” remarked Jim O’Malley, Athletic Director at Florida Air Academy. “He is a terrific person and deserves all the great things that are happening for him.”
For now, Sasha is focused on improving his game for the upcoming season, and his academics and graduation from Florida Air Academy May 22.