Kirk Picks Up First Scholarship Offer

One of the most interesting players to watch in the St. Louis area this season is St. Charles West sophomore forward Christian Kirk. A transfer from Springfield (Mo.) Kickapoo, Kirk has quickly become an impact player for the Warriors.

The 6-foot-7, 195-pound Kirk has already garnered interest from several college programs, including Kansas and Saint Louis, and recently picked up his first scholarship offer from Southern Illinois and coach Chris Lowery.

Kirk's family is familiar with the recruiting process.

Christian's older sister and brother both played in college. Hannah Kirk was a 6-3 forward at Missouri State. Kyle Kirk was a 6-5 forward at Missouri State and later Southwestern Illinois College.

Christian Kirk is an impressive young prospect. He is long and athletic with a soft touch around the basket who projects as a small forward or power forward in college. He already has a nice assortment of post maneuvers that allow him to get around and score on taller defenders.

On Saturday, in the first round of the Meramec Holiday Festival Basketball Tournament, Kirk scored a career-high 26 points on 12-of-13 shooting to lead St. Charles West to a 61-49 victory over Zumwalt West.

Kirk's performance was even more impressive because he was at times matched up with Zumwalt West's 6-10 senior center Gavin Wiss, who has signed with Division II Quincy University and is one of the top centers in the St. Louis area.

"I actually rolled my foot pretty bad yesterday," Kirk said. "I taped it up thinking a lot of great players have played hurt and everything so I might as well go out there and give it my all. Playing Zumwalt West, my brother and sister used to go there so it was getting me pumped up even more. I just felt good."

The sophomore forward didn't look like the injury was bothering him. He made his first eight shot attempts in the game, scored 12 points in the first half and scored all 10 of the Warriors' points in the fourth quarter.

"He's really got good touch around the basket," St. Charles West coach Terry Hollander said. "He's got good moves, good touch and he's really a force. If we get him the ball in good spots, he's hard to handle."

St. Charles West's next opponent should provide another good test for the sophomore forward. Kirk and Co. will play Lafayette, led by 6-8 Illinois signee Tyler Griffey, at 7 p.m. Sunday at Meramec Community College in Kirkwood, Mo.

Kirk's first season with the Warriors has been a successful one so far. The Warriors, who lost three starters from last season's Missouri Class 4 runner-up squad, go into Sunday night's game with a 7-1 record and Kirk is averaging a team-high 18.6 points per contest.

The eyes of St. Louis area basketball fans as well as college basketball coaches throughout the country will be focused on Kirk for the next two and a half seasons to watch his development.

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