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Sports

Recruiting Notebook: St. Charles North's Kyle King follows a family legacy to Purdue

Grandson of ex-men's basketball head coach joins Boilermakers as a preferred walk-on; Batavia's Weerts, Jansey commit

St. Charles North forward Kyle King (20) shoots the ball in the post against Geneva forward Kross Garth (35) in St. Charles Feb. 2.
St. Charles North forward Kyle King (20) shoots the ball in the post against Geneva forward Kross Garth (35) in St. Charles Feb. 2.

Kyle King has long thought he was good enough to play college basketball.

King, who played forward for St. Charles North, would see other opposing players get offers knowing the bounds of his own talents. A unanimous all-conference selection, King averaged 14.5 points, eight rebounds and four assists his senior year.

No offers ever came his way – despite numerous Division II and III representatives waiting to talk with him postgame once the press was clear.

"I understand that my body isn’t the ideal college basketball body," King said, "but I feel if you see me play in person, you may get a different idea just the way I play the game."

His decision came down to two schools. He could attend Missouri and not play basketball, or accept a preferred walk-on offer from Purdue.

King chose to head to West Lafayette, where the Purdue men's basketball team reached the Sweet 16 appearance in the NCAA tournament this past March.

"I’m so excited to be playing with these high end [Division I] players," King said. "I know every kid on this Purdue team [is] going to be very good. It’ll allow me to get better in areas I never have gotten the opportunity to play, which is the wing."

The 6-foot-5 graduated senior has an impeccable family reputation to uphold at the university.

King's grandfather, George King, coached Purdue basketball from 1966-1972. In that stretch, King coached a Rick Mount-led Purdue team to a runner-up finish in 1969, losing to John Wooden and UCLA in the national championship game. It is the program's best finish in an NCAA Tournament since the Boilermakers won it all in 1932.

In his seven seasons, King's teams went 109-64. King later went on to serve as Athletic Director, and was inducted into the Purdue Intercollegiate Athletics Hall of Fame in 2001.

Kyle King is the nephew of Gary Danielson, the former NFL quarterback and current CBS broadcaster, who also played at Purdue.

"He’s a great guy. He lives in a beautiful home in Florida that we always will go to," King said of Danielson.

"I’m so excited to continue the legacy of the King name. I hope I can make the same name for myself as my grandpa did," King said.

Batavia's Weerts, Jansey commit

Batavia senior linebacker Luke Weerts knew the special feeling he had while visiting North Dakota State had merit.

Michael Jansey, for his part, knew Northwestern was going to be his future home.

Offered by the FCS powerhouse in February, Weerts officially announced his commitment to the program on social media this past week.

Jansey followed suit by tweeting his commitment to Northwestern on June 9. Jansey was offered two weeks ago, but formally committed shortly before Batavia as a team participated at a Northwestern showcase.

"Every single time I visited North Dakota State, I got the feeling that I can't really describe," Weerts said. "It's just a feeling that you know – that in your gut – that this is the place you want to be."

Jansey had 26 offers and decided between Iowa State, Purdue and Northwestern as his top three. West Virginia had a bit of interest as well. Jansey punished ball carriers for 99 tackles, 27.5 tackles-for-loss, and averaged seven tackles per game last season for the Class 7A state champions.

"It's close to home and my family and all them can come out [and see me play]," Jansey said. "I pride myself on academics...getting a degree from Northwestern, I know I definitely have something to back myself up on."

Weerts balanced 17 offers in total, gaining some Southeastern Conference and Big Ten interest as well – but no offers. North Dakota State, which is the former home to Philadelphia Eagles quarterback, Carson Wentz, beat out the likes of Kansas State, Northern Illinois and Cincinnati.

Weerts, a two-year varsity starter, finished his junior season with a team-high 129 tackles, 8.5 sacks, and 24 tackles-for-loss for the defending 7A champions. An interesting tidbit: Weerts is cousins with former NFL linebacker, Matt Roth.

"I'm focused on the [upcoming] season; that's all I'm worried about now," Weerts said.

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