Hoops: Capel lands another one

Lawton Eisenhower sophomore big man Kyle Hardrick talks about his commitment to Oklahoma.

The OU Men's Basketball Team has received a verbal commitment from sophomore to be Kyle Hardrick, a 6-foot-9 center of Lawton Eisenhower in Lawton, Okla.

I realize this is a most unusual verbal commitment, but it is one that we have to already put on the board for 2009, because the Hardrick's say they have already made their decision and recruiting for them is over.

"Kyle has committed to OU," said Kyle's father Mike Hardrick, who played college basketball in the state of Alabama. "He really likes the University of Oklahoma. He has always followed the Oklahoma Sooners. We told Coach Capel about our decision today and he said he was glad to hear it."

Kyle, who is knicknamed 'Squirt', averaged 15 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks per game last season a freshman. Hardrick plays on Coach Tommie Griffin's Athlete's First AAU team where he will play with the elite team this year.

Hardrick has just turned 16 and he is still growing,

"The doctors tell us that Kyle is going to evetually be around 6-10 to 6-11," said Kyle's mom Valarie, who played high school basketball at Lawton Eisenhower. "Two years ago, Kyle was 290 pounds. He decided to go on a diet and we cut his Kool-aid and his soda, and he lost 70 pounds in three months. We are real pound of him for losing that much weight. He decided he really wanted to be a basketball player so he decided to change what he drank. It wasn't the food he was eating, but he drank a lot of Kool-aid and a lot of soda. He cut that out and went to Diet Sierra Mist and he lost 70 pounds. Then he was able to get up and down the court and dunk. Kyle's knees are huge, so we decided that we needed to do something about it."

Mom is pround of her son.

"He is a great kid and a great student," said Valarie. "We are so happy for him. Kyle has always wanted to go to OU and when we met Coach Capel, we found out he is a great coach."

Obviously for Kyle, finding that the OU coaches wanted him and that he could commit to OU was an exciting day.

"I decided to go ahead and make my decision because I basically already know everybody on the team," said Kyle. "I have played AAU ball with basically all of them, and I really like the coaching style of Coach Capel. I have always been an OU fan since I was little. I have always loved OU football, basketball and baseball. As far as basketball goes, I have always wanted to either play at OU or North Carolina."

Kyle says Coach Capel sealed the deal and now he just wants to work on his game.

"Coach Capel is a great guy and I look forward to playing for him," said Kyle. "Now I can just get ready for college. I need to work hard on shooting drills, work on defense and build up my strength and speed."

"Not a super athlete but skilled around the hoop, has a big body, runs pretty well and has nice soft hands. High major prospect," said Scout.com recruiting analyst Eric Bossi.

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