SIGNEE Q&A: Shaun Kirk

Whiteville (NC) standout wing Shaun Kirk talks with Pack Pride about his decision to sign with NC State.

Whiteville (NC) standout wing Shaun Kirk talks with Pack Pride about his decision to sign with NC State.

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Were you expecting to receive an offer from NC State when you visited them on Monday?
Not really... I really wasn't.

That's why I was so shocked because most kids don't get that chance. It came down to me playing AAU as a unsigned senior to get that chance and God blessed me with it.

When they offered you a scholarship, how did you go about committing?
After I toured the campus and saw how much I loved it. I wanted it, that's when I committed.

Everything about NC State I loved, and it was my dream. For them to offer me right there, the last minute, it was everything that I wanted.

What was the reaction of the coaches when you committed?
They were shocked. I guess they didn't expect me to commit right then and there.

Did you get a chance to talk to any players on your visit?
I talked to Terry Henderson, I met him, but I didn't get to talk to the other guys. I know I will get to soon.

Kentucky offered you a scholarship a couple of hours after you committed to NC State. How did you find out about that offer?
They called my AAU coach.

What was your reaction?
[Laughing] Well Kentucky is one of the top schools in the nation and when that opportunity comes around... you have to listen, you know?

I wanted to take the time to hear what they had to say, but in my heart, I found that NC State was where I belong.

Did coach Calipari meet with you?
I talked to him over the phone. He was telling me about how I could come in and have a big opportunity to play, hopefully start. He said that everything was going to be great.

What led to you choosing to stick with your commitment to NC State?
I'm a man of my word and NC State, I loved it there. It was close to home, and that made my parents even happier because they can come see me anytime they want.

How did the coaches at NC State react when you told them that you were going to sign with them?
[Laughing] I don't know, I think they were shocked once again. I think because when Kentucky comes around most people don't turn that down.

How did you inform Kentucky of your final decision?
I called and told the assistant that I had been talking to that I was going to be signing with NC State.

What did your family and coaches think of your decision?
They loved it. They supported me the whole way throughout everything.

You were playing AAU a couple of weeks ago and picking up offers for the 2016 class. How was that?
Well, I was in 2016 when I was at my old school, but I had to go back to my original class when I transferred back to Whiteville. I don't think a lot of the other colleges knew I was graduating. Most didn't know it.

How tough is it to be ending your brief time with Team Loaded?
It's tough because the more I played the more I loved my teammates and everything we had, that chemistry. We were going to do big things, hopefully win every tournament we go to.

That was my favorite team that I've played on. I'm going to miss playing with them.

NC State is recruiting two of your AAU teammates, Dennis Smith and Edrice Adebayo. Do you plan on talking to them about playing with you at NC State?
I hope they go to NC State too, but if they don't I wish them the best of luck wherever they end up.

Can you give a scouting report of your game?
My strengths, I'm a pretty good shooter and good rebounder. I'm athletic too.

I need to work on my ballhandling a lot more and get my defense down because with my length I should be a really good defender.

What does it feel like to have signed with NC State?
It feels great because NC State has always been one of my favorite schools. It's in the ACC and that's always been my dream... to play in the ACC.

When that opportunity came around it was a perfect fit for me.

What do you think it's going to be like to play for coach Gottfried?
It's a great opportunity. I never thought I'd be able to do it and coach Gottfried is a great coach. I also love the coaching staff.

The last Whiteville hoops graduate to sign with an ACC school was Andre McCollum, who signed with NC State nearly 20 years ago in 1996. What does that mean to you?
It's a great feeling.

Whiteville's basketball team hasn't sent anyone out to play on a high level in a long time. These chances don't come around everyday.

Are you fully qualified?
Yes sir, I've made it in.

Have you thought much about a potential major at NC State?
Maybe Physical Therapy or Kinesiology... something dealing with sports.

What are your plans now? Do you know when you enroll?
I will be enrolling for the second summer session. I believe it starts around June 22nd.

What do you think about NC State heading into this season?
Hopefully I can go in there and work my butt off and help my team get to the national championship game.


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