Q&A With Kirby Gardner

Point guard Kirby Gardner of San Bernardino Valley junior college confirmed Sunday afternoon that he had signed with Oklahoma State. The 6-2, 200-pound junior-to-be averaged 17.2 points and 4.4 assists per game and made 86 percent from the free-throw line this past season in helping San Bernardino to a 25-6 record. Here is a Q&A with the latest member of Travis Ford's team.

Can you tell me about your decision to sign with Oklahoma State and how it came about?
Gardner: They hadn't been recruiting me too long. Coach (Quincy Brewer at San Bernardino) told me that they had been looking at me and some of my film and my grades to see if I was eligible, and the next week I went on a visit. It just seems to be the place where I wanted to go.

What did you think of your visit to Oklahoma State?
Gardner: It's amazing. There's really nothing to say that doesn't already speak for itself. It was a great experience.

What other schools have been recruiting you?
Gardner: Well earlier Texas A&M, Oregon, a few schools here in California like Cal State -Bernardino, Cal State-Fullerton, Cal State-Bakersfield.

Were you just planning to stay in California before Oklahoma State offered?
Gardner: I really didn't have a decision made. (Oklahoma State) is really where I wanted to go because I had family that stayed out there before, so I knew the area a little bit and felt comfortable.

You have family in Oklahoma?
Gardner: My grandma was out there a few years ago, and I used to come visit her during the summer.

This is late in the process to be committing and signing with a school. Can you explain how it is that you're just now signing with Oklahoma State?
Gardner: Actually, my grades was the hold up. I had to get rid of some incompletes and finish some make-up work. After the school year when the grades came out a few weeks ago that's when I found out I was eligible and able to take visits.

When will you be heading to Stillwater?
Gardner: I have to finish summer school out here (he's taking two on-line classes and a third class at San Bernardino Valley), and I think it'll be over around the middle of July, and I'll try to head that way right after summer school.

Which OSU coach was recruiting you?
Gardner: Coach (Butch) Pierre.

What do head coach Travis Ford and coach Pierre say how they plan to use you next season?
Gardner: They tell me that I fit the system well, and I'm their missing piece. I'll do whatever it takes to win, and I guess they saw that about me.

How would you describe your game?
Gardner: I'm a fast player; I play up-tempo. I like to play defense first; I'm a defensive-minded player. I'm a scoring guard too. I just like to get my team involved.

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