Nov. 11, 2009
CONWAY, S.C. – The Coastal Carolina University men’s basketball program and Head Coach Cliff Ellis have announced the signings of Daniel King (Panama City, Panama/Western Oklahoma State College) and Willie Kirkland, Jr., (Graceville, Fla./Gulf Coast J.C.) to National Letters-of-Intent, it was announced today.
King, a 6-8 forward, is playing for Western Oklahoma State College in Altus, Okla., after transferring from New Mexico Junior College. King averaged 11 points and nine rebounds last year for the Thunderbirds. Western Oklahoma currently is 3-1 on the season. He also played for the Panamanian National Team in the COCABA Championship, helping the squad to a third-place finish. The COCABA Championship is the first step in Olympic qualification for Central America. King participated in the NBA’s “Basketball without Borders”, which is the NBA and FIBA’s global basketball development program that uses the sport to create positive social change in the areas of education, health and wellness. King is rated the 83rd-best junior college player by JucoJunction.com and Bret Swanson, who runs Swanny’s Roundball Review based out of Pawley’s Island, S.C.
Kirkland, a 6-4 wing, is playing this season at Gulf Coast Community College in Florida after spending a year at Chattahooche Valley Community College in Alabama. Kirkland played his high school basketball at Graceville High School in Florida, averaging 28.4 points his senior year. He also shot 38.7 percent from behind the three-point arc. Kirkland is ranked the 31st-best junior college player in the nation by JucoJunction.com.
“Daniel is a strong player inside and a tremendous rebounder,” Ellis said. “He loves to compete and play the game. We thought he was a bigger version of a Joseph Harris. Willie brings an exceptional, uncanny ability to shoot the basketball. Also, he has that strength and size that we lose in the wings with Mario Edwards and Logan Johnson. We will look for him to fill one of those voids.”
Coastal Carolina opens the 2009-10 season Friday, Nov. 13 against the College of Charleston. Tipoff is at 7:30 p.m.