Now before I ran with the news I wanted to get confirmation so I contacted Hurricane's President Marty Saiz about the move. "Yeah, this happened about three weeks ago," says Saiz. Now for those of you that are unaware of Alex Kirk, he is rated as one of the top big men in the country rated as high as #4 big man according to ESPN.com and he is on the recruiting radar of many prominent D-I schools including the University of New Mexico who is one of the schools that Alex Kirk has an offer from. So I thought Marty Saiz would be disappointed to be losing someone the caliber of Alex… I quickly learned that is far from the truth!
"This is a great opportunity for Alex," says Saiz. "Houston Hoops provides Alex with an opportunity to not only play against some of the top talent in the country, but it also allows him to practice all summer long with other big men." Going to the Houston Hoops website I noticed that 2010 New Mexico recruit 6-8 Tobi Oyedeji Bellaire HS is also on the Houston Hoops squad. "Playing with the Hoops squad, with and against the players in that area will do nothing but improve Alex's game," said Saiz.
Houston Hoops Tobi Oyedeji
So come on Marty come clean, you have to be a little disappointed right? "Not at all. The goal of the Granger Hurricane is to get New Mexico players more exposure to college coaches and get them scholarships," said Saiz. "We think that we accomplished this with Alex and it isn't like our relationship with Alex is over as Alex and his dad said they would make some tourneys with the Hurricane this spring as well as play for Houston Hoops."
Anyone that is familiar with AAU hoops and the tournaments that go on during the spring and summer and that the AAU clubs from all over the country have to pick and choose which tourneys they participate in based on their funding.
"We aren't exactly sure which camps we are going to bring the Granger Hurricane to this spring and summer," said Saiz. "We know that this spring we are going to three regional tournaments, and after that we will get together and decide where we want to go, unfortunately, we won't be going to as many tournaments as Houston Hoops will be attending this summer, so Alex playing with Hoops will allow him so much more playing time."
There is a quote in the Star Wars movie when Qui-Gon Jinn says, there is always a bigger fish, and there is no doubt that Houston Hoops is one of these "bigger fish." Going to the Houston Hoops website you immediately see the familiar swoosh of Nike who is Houston Hoops major sponsor. "I know that Houston Hoops will give Alex the opportunity to go to many more tournaments that the Granger Hurricane won't be attending," said Saiz. "Hopefully his time in Houston will also get Alex into the Nike Lebron James Skills Academy and Stoudamire big man's camp."
Marty Saiz summed it up very nicely for me. "This is a win-win situation for all involved, Alex gets to go to a higher profile AAU team and the opportunity to learn and play against other big men, and we get the opportunity to get more local players on our team and the chance for them to receive more exposure thanks to Alex.
So really, you're not mad? "Are you kidding? Like I told Coach Kirk… You have to jump on this if my son had this opportunity I know I would."
On a side note: For those of you interested in supporting the Granger Hurricane and their goal of getting more New Mexico players exposure to college programs please click here and contact Marty Saiz at The Granger Hurricane Website