I was able to get out to the Sandia High School Gym to take a look at the New Mexico Force AAU basketball team today as they played in the Summer Classic here in Albuquerque, unfortunately, they were missing a couple of their big guns as Menaul's Emmanuel Bidias and Roman Martinez Montwood HS El Paso TX were missing… Luckily one of their best players and quite possibly one of the best players to come from the state of New Mexico was on hand as Kasey Cunningham was in the house…
If you haven't seen the 6-7 220lb SF/PF yet you are missing out on one of the most exciting players in the state. Cunningham is very explosive to the basket as he can handle the ball well for a 6'7 player and is extremely effective off the baseline with his spin moves and drives to the hoop. Kasey displayed excellent passing skills as he spots the open man and will unselfishly make the pass both to the open perimeter player or his fellow post players.
What impresses me the most about Cunningham on the court is his work ethic. NM Force missing most of their roster was forced to play iron man basketball and during the whole game, not once did I see Kasey resting or taking a play off at the offensive or defensive end, he was tenacious under the offensive boards picking up rebound after rebound, pulling the ball down and taking it back in, and going after every loose ball he could. Cunningham worked hard defensively as well using quick hands to poke the ball away from opposing player's hands and triggering fast break opportunities for his team.
Coach Romero said that Kasey still has to work harder on his jump shooting and free throw shooting to be the complete player, and he feels that Cunningham will be doing that during the entire summer and his senior year as he has great work ethic.
Kasey has really improved in the area of shooting and handling the ball on the floor. He needs to work more on his jump shot and rebounding, but overall he has really improved. –NM Force Coach Ross Romero
I had a chance to catch up with Kasey Cunningham after Saturday's game and here is what he had to say.
I'm working really hard on my jump shot and ball handling skills.
Kasey you're going to end up as one of the most sought after players ever in the state of New Mexico how does that feel personally.
Personally its great to represent the state that I come from... to be from New Mexico doing big things to get my name, my teammates names, and the state's name out there. It is a good experience for me.
Kasey do you get tired of people asking what school you are going to go to?
(Smiling) Yeah it does get kind of repetitive.
What do the people around town ask you?
Kasey where you going? Kasey where you going? They ask me that a lot.
So I guess I have to ask you Kasey…
(Laughing) Kasey where you going?
No Kasey I'm not going to ask you that, I just want to know the schools that are recruiting you?
Texas A&M, USC, Utah, Gonzaga, Florida, UNM, and UTEP
UNM has offered
Any schools you are going to visit?
I'll be going down to UTEP in the next couple of weeks to check it out, and I want to go see UNM, Texas A&M, USC, and Arizona.
Do you have any favorites yet?
I don't have any favorites at this point; I could stay close to home or go anywhere in the nation.
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