Posted On: 01/26/18 5:00 AM
Kendall Saunders (2018) has only been living in the United States since August 9. He couldn’t have spoken more highly about how comfortable his guardians, the Cornerstone Christian basketball team and coaches have made him feel in that time.
But, the 6’6” broad-shouldered stetch-four from Nova Scotia is also searching for a new home, at the college level next season. Otherwise, he could be on his way back to Canada to play for a college program there.
“I’ve been trying to reach out [to colleges]. But there’s only so much you can do when you’re basically not really known … I could probably get some scholarships through my academics because I’m pretty good in the classroom,” Saunders said.
Urbana was the only school Saunders recalled specifically, but a few colleges at that level have shown interest.
“A few D-IIs let me know that they’re interested. I’ve been trying to follow up with them and all that, see if I can set up a visit and all that,” Saunders said.
Saunders came to the U.S. in part for a challenging basketball experience. He won’t be satisfied unless he accomplishes his goal of playing at the D-II or NAIA level.
His unique set of circumstances make for a unique approach to the recruitment process.
“I’ve sent out a couple letters and all that to a bunch of different schools.” Saunders continued, “If I don’t get what I was coming for here, I could probably do a 13th year at maybe a prep school or I could probably go back home and go to one of the colleges that already know me.”
Specifically, Saunders mentioned Toronto Basketball Academy as a prep school he’d be interested in joining if it comes down to his plan-B.
This is a situation where Saunders might be a priority recruit for Division II and NAIA programs if coaches had the opportunity to evaluate him for the last four years. He’s a weapon as a shooter and interior scorer. Defensively, Saunders has enough toughness and size to defend the paint.
“I got to guard the biggest and the strongest guy on the other team, night-in night-out. Bang inside. So basically rebound, defend,” Saunders said.
“I guess I would be second for scoring options.” Saunders continued, “I’m more of a stretch. But if I have to I will go down-low and do what I got to do.”
His shooting ability gives belief that he has upside as a perimeter player. While he’s surely a 4 right now, Saunders hopes to build on his playmaking ability going forward.
“I got to work more on my defense honestly, like lateral quickness. Because at the next level, I won’t be a big so I got to be able to guard guards … On offense, I got to get my handles up more and sharpening my IQ,” Saunders said.
The next two games for a hot Cornerstone team provides Saunders with an opportunity to prove himself against quality posts. Especially this coming Sunday against Brush at the Dunk 4 Diabetes Shootout at John Carroll, where Saunders will likely matchup with 6’9” sophomore center John Hugley.