Q & A With Griffin McKenzie

6'9", forward Griffin McKenzie (2010) discusses the current status of his back injury, his recruiting lists, his time table for a decision, and his interest in the Miami RedHawks.

6'9", forward Griffin McKenzie (2010) from Cincinnati Moeller over the past weekend participated in the Midwest Shootout at Sports Plus in Cincinnati with his high school team. After Moeller fell to Cincinnati Aiken (the same team that ended Moeller's season in the district finals last March), McKenzie spoke with RedHawk Insider. McKenzie discussed the current status of his back injury, his recruiting lists, his time table for a decision, and his interest in the Miami RedHawks.

REDHAWK INSIDER: (Jokingly) Not exactly the revenge game you wanted?

GRIFFIN MCKENZIE: That was not quite the reaction we were looking for. We were subbing five in and five out. Two of our normal starters were not even here. Our starting point guard did not play. I look forward to playing (Cincinnati Aiken) another time.

REDHAWK INSIDER: How is the back?

GRIFFIN MCKENZIE: It has totally healed up. It is doing great. I could not be happier with the way it healed up. I have been pain free since January when I came back. I am just cautious and make sure it does not happen again. I just increase my flexibility and make sure my core is strong.

REDHAWK INSIDER: How did you end up with Indiana based Eric Gordon All-stars AAU team?

GRIFFIN MCKENZIE: I just know coach Matt Green from playing AAU and thought they were a good fit.

REDHAWK INSIDER: Did you meet Eric Gordon yet?

GRIFFIN MCKENZIE: Yes. He took us out to dinner at some real fancy Italian restaurant. It was real nice.


GRIFFIN MCKENZIE: Miami (Ohio), Ohio, Ball State, Cornell, and Harvard. I have increasing interest from a lot of schools waiting to see me in July since the April evaluation period was shot down so they are waiting for July.

REDHAWK INSIDER: I read somewhere where Wright State has offered.

GRIFFIN MCKENZIE: Yes, they have too.

REDHAWK INSIDER: You told me before that Cincinnati had offered you. Is that still on the table?

GRIFFIN MCKENZIE: UC just called me yesterday. I was unable to call them back due to some obligations. So I am going to see where that goes.

REDHAWK INSIDER: What other schools are showing interest beside those that have offered a scholarship?

GRIFFIN MCKENZIE: Wake Forest, Xavier, and Notre Dame are schools showing a lot of interest in me. Oklahoma State, Alabama, Providence, and Butler are showing a lot of interest as well.


GRIFFIN MCKENZIE: No. I would not say I have a leader. My recruitment is still wide open. It is good to know some of the schools that have stayed with me through this injury and a lot of schools are coming back. And I am excited about July.

REDHAWK INSIDER: Earlier in the week you texted me that you are visiting Notre Dame.

GRIFFIN MCKENZIE: On June 24th. They want me to come up in June and play open gym and visit the campus.

REDHAWK INSIDER: Have you taken any visits since the last time you and I talked (in January)?

GRIFFIN MCKENZIE: No other visits. I was just focused on getting healthy and getting my game back to where it was before.

REDHAWK INSIDER: Do you have any other visits planned besides Notre Dame?

GRIFFIN MCKENZIE: No. I am going to wait until the July evaluation period is over and cut my list down and take some visits to the schools I am really interested in. I do plan to visit Harvard.

REDHAWK INSIDER: What about Miami?

GRIFFIN MCKENZIE: I am excited to build a better relationship with Coach (Charlie) Coles. He called me the other day and I had a good long talk with him. I am excited to get to know him better now that he signed that three year contract extension. I am excited to get back to campus and meet him in person.

REDHAWK INSIDER: Decision timetable?

GRIFFIN MCKENZIE: After July. Sometime in the Fall. Maybe August or September.

REDHAWK INSIDER: What AAU tournaments will you be participating in here in July?

GRIFFIN MCKENZIE: Take 5 in Cincinnati, the Best of the Midwest in Indianapolis, and the Adidas Super 64 in Las Vegas.

REDHAWK INSIDER: Anything else you wish to add?

GRIFFIN MCKENZIE: I am excited about my AAU team in July and my high school team even though we lost. It is proving to be great experience for the team.


McKenzie previously told RedHawk Insider that his game is comparable to NBA star Dirk Norwitzski. He says he can play facing the basket or with his back to the basket. He can also defensively guard both on the perimeter and in the post.

As for Miami specifically, McKenzie told RedHawk Insider, "I definitely like Miami. Great campus and I like the coaching staff a lot."

Last summer McKenzie visited Miami during Miami's team camp (in which Moeller was participating). McKenzie told RedHawk Insider about the visit, "It went very well. The coaches showed me around campus. I got to see the academic buildings. They showed me what it would be like to be a student-athlete. Then they offered me at the end of the visit." McKenzie also said the Miami coaching staff was "very friendly" and described the program as having a "family atmosphere."

McKenzie has been in contact with two current members of the Miami basketball program who also happen to be Moeller basketball alumni: Miami assistant Jason Grunkemeyer and Miami senior Tyler Dierkers. McKenzie kept "Coach Grunk" updated about the progress on his back during last Fall and Winter. As for Dierkers, he said, "I definitely talk to Tyler Dierkers. My AAU team scrimmaged him and his friends."

McKenzie previously said he played well with his 2008 All-Ohio Force teammate and Miami signee Allen Roberts. He would consider playing with him in college.

Stayed tuned to RedHawk Insider as we follow Griffin McKenzie in the future.

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