As JC Kennedy started seeing opportunities to play at smaller schools disappear, a little help opened the door to the chance to play at the Division I level.
Now the Skyview High graduate is set to become the second Hawk in three years to move on to college basketball’s highest level.
Kennedy accepted an offer to walk on at Weber State last month, and says he will attend the school in Ogden, Utah, on a full academic scholarship and study engineering.
“It’s what I’ve been dreaming of since I was little kid,” said Kennedy, who graduated from Skyview this spring. “It’s good to get some exposure for kids from Idaho, since they usually get overlooked when they’re recruited.”
The guard averaged 11 points for the Hawks during his senior season, helping Skyview finish in third-place at the 4A state tournament. He was named by 4A Southern Idaho Conference coaches as a first-team All-Conference selection after the season.
Kennedy says the choice came down to Weber State and Utah State. He also had some interest in Utah, but admitted that the Pac-12 might have been a little to high of level of play for him. In the end, he decided the Big Sky was the best fit.
A visit to the Weber State campus helped to reinforce his decision.
“Weber State was one of the coolest campuses I’ve seen,” Kennedy says. “It’s a nice place, I really like it.”
Kennedy said that he also looked at several smaller schools, but many of those either filled their spots at guard, or ran out of scholarship money.
Some help from former Boise State and Nampa High coach Bus Connor opened the door to Weber State for him.
Connor, who coached Trevor Morris at Nampa before the center went on to play for Weber State, sent coaches game tapes of Kennedy.
“This happened fast,” Kennedy said. “(Connor) asked if they needed a walk on for guard. It was all sudden really.”
He follows in the footsteps of Kyle Dranginis as recent Hawks to go on to Division I basketball programs. Dranginis, a 2011 Skyview graduate, was a redshirt freshman at Gonzaga last season.
“We’re just fortunate to have a great school to develop players at and then we just have great kids too,” Kennedy said.
Initially, Kennedy will be playing on the Wildcats’ scout team, running opponents offenses in practice. But, he has high hopes that by the end of his career, he will be contributing to the team on the court.
“They said they like to recruit walk ons that they think have the potential to play in the future,” he said. “If everything goes right I’m hoping to contribute in 2-to-3 years in some way.”