Yes, we all know incoming Pitt recruit Khem Birch is good. Still, it's nice to be reminded once in a while just how good.
Birch's team, the Sean Bell All-Stars (no, I can't make this stuff up), won the iS8 Nike Spring Class championship this past weekend. And in large part, due to a big game by Pitt's leading man.
Birch went for 14 points and 16 rebounds in a 17-point semifinal win on Saturday. He then added nine more boards in Sunday's title game and afterwards, spoke of a somewhat unexpected role model:
"I pattern my game after [Denver Nugget forward] Kenyon Martin," said Birch, whose 14-point, 16-rebound effort helped Sean Bell defeat New Heights (Artie), 73-56, in Saturday’s semifinal.
"He’s a 6-foot-8, just like me," Birch said of Martin. "And he’s extremely athletic."
Martin is an above-average NBA player (at least when he's healthy) no doubt, but I'm a little surprised at the comparison. After all, when Kenyon was dominating at Cincinnati in the late 90s, Birch was well under the age of ten. Still, a former NBA All-Star, College Player of the Year, and No. 1 overall NBA Draft pick isn't a bad role model.