Posted On: 12/7/17 4:52 PM
West Palm Beach (FL) native, KJ Fitzgerald, has made the transition into prep school in Wichita, Kansas as he has been attending Sunrise Christian Academy.
The 5’11’’ Point Guard was ranked #25 in Florida by the Prep Hoops crew in 2017.
Florida, as a state, ranks number six on the list of states with the “highest percentage of high school boys basketball players recruited by a Division 1 school (2.6%),” according to a recent study done by the NCAA.
Fitzgerald was no exception to that statistic, gaining recruitment from USF, Middle Tennessee, Creighton, Arkansas, TCU, Virginia Tech, San Francisco, and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
With a plethora of options, most would ask, why bother taking a prep year?
“I wanted to be ready not just physically but mentally to come into a program and immediately make an impact” said Fitzgerald.
Google this young man’s name and you’ll find a lion’s share of highlight reels showcasing his ability to get in the paint and finish at the rim but those reels don’t highlight is Fitzgerald’s exceptional character.
On a recent road trip, Sunrise Christian’s Head Post-Grad Coach, Achoki Moikobu, shared a Facebook post from a local family they ran into while eating at Wendy’s. The entire team made an impact on the families’ son who has autism but the family mentioned Fitzgerald individually.
“This young man has a wonderful sense of humor and I can see he is a great sport. Let them know they made a little boys night.”
Fitzgerald is focused on the year in front of him and it is beginning to show through his play on the court as well. Fitzgerald had a strong showing against Don Bosco Prep with 19 points, 4 reb, and 6 assists, a 13 point 4 rebound game against Hutchinson Community College, and also had a 19 point half so far this season as well. Most recently, Fitzgerald earned all-tournament honors at the National Prep Showcase according to Rivals.com
“I play this game for my Grandma” said Fitzgerald. “One of the last things she told me before she passed away was to not stop playing basketball until my family was taken care of.”
While Fitzgerald’s father is handling the bulk of his recruitment, KJ wants to be in a place that “needs him rather than wants him” in order to make an immediate impact.
This year Fitzgerald is being shown interest from IUPUI, Boise State, and Valparaiso among others who are entering the picture and being more involved as the year continues.