Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Khem Birch, who was initially Class of 2012, signed with Pittsburgh on Wednesday for their 2011 class and will forgo his postgraduate year at Notre Dame Prep.
“I decided that the best thing for my development was to begin my college career next year,” Birch told the FlagrantFouls.com Website, which first reported the news. “I’m going to go to college where I will be a 3/4. I just feel that I have a better chance to develop my skills on the perimeter at the next level than I do with another year of high school.”
Notre Dame Prep coach Ryan Hurd confirmed the development by phone and said he supported Birch’s decision.
“He signed Wednesday,” Hurd said. “It’s something he and his family kicked around for a while now. We did everything we could to support their decision and I think it’s a good one.
“I’m absolutely ecstastic for him. Having lived away from home for this amount of time, his matury has increased tenfold. We’re certainly not happy to lose him but the kid does everything the right way and I just want to see him be successful.”
Hurd said Birch put up 20 points and 10 rebounds in Friday’s win over Fishburne Military Academy (VA) at the National Prep Showcase. He was credited with 11 points and six rebounds in Saturday’s victory over Westwind Prep (AZ), but Hurd felt those numbers were low.
Birch, currently listed as the No. 1 power forward in the Class of 2012, joins a Pitt class that includes Malcolm Gilbert, Jaylen Bond, Durand Johnson and John Johnson.
Birch figures to be the lastest in a line of athletic bigs that includes this year’s crop of Talib Zhanna, Dante Taylor, J.J. Richardson and Nasir Robinson.
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.