2013 prospect Maurice Kirby was one of the fastest rising big men on the west coast. Schools from major conferences across the nation came in pursuit of the 6'9, 220 pound big man. With his background as a guard, Kirby's size makes him an intriguing college prospect (doctors expect Kirby to grow at least 2 more inches). With excellent passing ability, and a jump shot out to 18 feet, Kirby was on track to be one of the hottest big men on the market.
However, early in his sophomore season of high school, Kirby took himself off the market when he verbally committed to nearby Arizona State.
Prior to his verbal commitment, Kirby was hearing from Oregon State, UNLV (under Kruger), Oklahoma, Boston College, New Mexico, Tennessee and USC.
"We used to live in Flagstaff, Arizona, then we moved down last year, now I'm about ½ hour away from ASU" Kirby explained, "[ASU] was my first offer. I was so grateful to have an offer like that at a D1 level. After that we kind of sat on it for a week or so to make sure that's where I wanted to be at the time. I think I was so ecstatic over the offer, that I gave ASU a verbal over at the arena."
"I think at that point when I committed; we just wanted to be able to say to the coaching staff that we were going to be in it for better and worse. We liked how it was a hometown school, I liked the staff a lot. They were great to me. I like the facilities over there that they've built, and just the opportunity to play at home and try to make something of myself over there."
After giving a verbal to ASU, schools that had previously expressed interest in Kirby faded away.
"Most of them backed off because I committed so early in the recruiting scene. There was a whole bunch of coaches on me at the time, most of them respected my decision and wished me luck on my decision."
As time went by, Kirby started to reconsider his early commitment to ASU.
"That's where I really started thinking that I was only going into my junior year, and I wanted to make sure that [ASU] was where I wanted to play my college ball. At that time, I don't think I took into consideration everything that I could earlier in the year. At that time I was just so happy to have my first offer, and have it be the hometown school where I could stay and play in front of my family and friends, that I probably didn't look into everything necessary that most recruits you."
"I need to get better overall. There are things I need to work on, and I want to focus on it and do that. I also just want to go back over things and see if I made the best decision. I wanted to open it up and make sure I didn't skip over any steps. I made one of the biggest decisions of my life, within a week and a half getting the offer. So there's a lot of things going through your head, and a lot of things you can miss. Plus, being a sophomore, I only had 1 year of varsity basketball."
"I committed early. So there wasn't a chance for me to look into other programs. So whoever wants to start recruiting me, I'll be really happy about that. The more teams that find out I'm available, on the market, I'm also looking for more schools that fit my style of play."
Since opening up his recruitment again, college recruiters have been quick to show interest in the talented big man. Kirby has already talked to coaches from Texas, Oklahoma, and also the University of Utah.
From the University of Utah, Kirby has begun building a relationship with Runnin' Ute Assistant Coach Andy Hill.
"Some of the things I've heard (about Utah), is that the atmosphere is great. I've heard a lot of great things about the coaches over there. And that overall they treat you well. They treat you with respect, and that everyone wants to get out there and work hard."
Kirby also said that one of the biggest factors he will consider is the type of coach he wants to play for. The idea of playing for former NBA forward, former NBA Head Coach, and current Utah head coach Larry Krystkowiak intrigues the young big man.
"That's my dream to play at the highest level I can, at the NBA. If I could play for someone with his background, and has worked with players in the NBA at my position. So that's one thing I'm looking at. And with (krystkowiak) having NBA experience, knowing what it takes to get there, it would be great to be able to learn as much as I can from him, and learn about the game."
Kirby Opens Up Recruitment, Talks to Utes
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