Pitt 2011 recruit Khem Birch is Pitt's best prospect in, well, maybe ever. So when I saw the words Birch and Accident together, I wasn't thinking happy thoughts.
This wasn't your run of the mill fender-bender, either as the car he was riding in was totaled.
Khem Birch was sitting in the front seat of a 2011 Dodge Journey alongside Notre Dame Prep coach Ryan Hurd Saturday afternoon as they traveled on I-95 to New York City.
Hurd’s car was the first of three Notre Dame Prep vehicles taking the basketball team from Fitchburg, Mass., to face South Kent (Conn.) for a 3:30 tip-off at the Big Apple Basketball Invitational at Baruch College.
All of a sudden, while they were in Norwalk, Conn., another vehicle cut across two lanes of traffic, causing an accident about six cars in front of them.
Hurd managed to stop the car, only to be rear-ended, causing the Dodge to smash into the car in front of them.
Birch, of course, was scared:
"We just crashed," said the 6-foot-9, 210-pound Birch, a Montreal native. "It was scary. Everything went through my mind. I don’t even know what happened. I was scared."
He added: "My neck snapped in front and my headphones almost broke."
Now, Birch is fine...though I'm sure you figured that out by now. And while I'm not all that surprised that he went on to play in the game, it's still pretty cool that none of it phased him all that much as he ended up with 18 and 12.
Meanwhile, there was also a bit of news regarding his Pitt future to come out of the article:
"I talked to the [assistant] coach [Pat Skerry] about it [Friday]," Birch said. "He said me and Dante will play the five, I’ll play four. Talib will play four, too. We’re going to get a good rotation because [Gary] McGhee’s out [graduating], so all three of us are going to get a good rotation."
Oh great. Well, Jamie Dixon knows what he's doing, but everything I've read is that this guy is a true power forward. I'll reserve judgment until we actually see him play, though.
Dave Telep of ESPN also has an update on how Birch is doing this year (must be an Insider to view) - averaging 18 / 13 and six blocks per game.
Yeah, that'll look pretty good in a Pitt uniform next season.