Northside senior Christian Kennedy accepted an offer to play basketball and continue his education at the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga during a Nov. 16 ceremony at the school.
It seems to be a really good fit, Northside coach Ken Price told friends and family who came to witness the event.
Now 6 feet 10 inches and 205 pounds, Kennedy was a key figure in the Eagles run to the Region 1-AAAA title last season. Northside won 20 games in that campaign and returns several seniors. As a result, expectations are high for 2012-13.
We were always a big target, no matter what people say, Kennedy said. We definitely get a confidence booster from last year.
Northside defeated Westside in a scrimmage game on Nov. 15. In that contest, Kennedy blocked a dunk attempt by one of the Seminoles players. Price called it one of the best defensive plays he had ever seen.
I like to let them get that air under them and get their confidence up, Kennedy said of his shot-blocking technique. Then he takes the ball away.
A self-described football guy until he reached high school, Kennedy said he grew eight inches between seventh and eighth grade.
I was kind of made to play basketball, he said.
He credited Prices fast-paced style of play and the resulting conditioning for his development as a player while at Northside. Its a style favored at UTC, as well.
My ability to run the floor, Kennedy said when asked what drew the Mocs to him. They said theyre planning on using me right away when I get there.
The son of Carlos Kennedy and Ceriece McCrae, Kennedy plans to study sports medicine and/or physical therapy at UTC.
Hoops season under way
Houston County opened the local portion of the high school basketball season over the weekend. Both the boys and girls split a pair of games. On Friday, the boys defeated Forest Park while the girls lost. Saturday, it was the girls who won, defeating First Presbyterian Day School. The Lady Bears had four players in double figures led by Karissa Engram. The boys lost to FPD, but senior guard Davon Atkins scored 33 points for the Bears.
Contact Chris Deighan at email@example.com.