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University Guard Kj Mcclurg Commits To Niagara, Coach Patrick Beilein

The Dominion Post, Morgantown, W.Va. — Sean Manning The Dominion Post, Morgantown, W.Va.

Oct. 09--MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- All it took was one showing for Niagara men's basketball head coach Patrick Beilein to love what he saw from University guard KJ McClurg.

While McClurg and the Hawks traveled to Philadelphia for the Philly Live basketball tournament in June, Beilein got his first opportunity to see McClurg play.

A few weeks later in July while playing in Myrtle Beach, S.C., with Big Shots Elite WV -- an AAU program -- McClurg got what he had been waiting for when Beilein extended the first Division I offer McClurg received.

On Tuesday night, McClurg announced he was headed north to continue his basketball career.

"Coach Beilein told me that he wanted to rebuild the program and he felt as if I'm an all-around player and I can do more than just put the ball in the hoop," he said.

McClurg helped UHS win its first boys' basketball state championship in March as the Hawks' second leading scorer behind point guard Kaden Metheny, averaging over 22 points per game last season. Metheny announced Sept. 22 he was headed to Bowling Green.

UHS coach Joe "Schmidle has done a lot for me as a player and I want to give him a huge thank you for that," McClurg said.

But McClurg was a bit of an unknown heading into last season before erupting as a dominant offensive force and a lengthy -- 6-foot-3, 185 pounds -- presence near the top of the Hawks' press.

Through his stellar junior season at UHS, along with his success at the AAU level, McClurg fulfilled his dream of getting a Division I offer.

"It feels amazing, but I wouldn't be here without my family and my brothers," he said. "My mom and dad have always pushed me to be the best young man, but also a great basketball player, and I want to thank them so much, as well. Kaden Metheny is always pushing me and always on me in practice, (teammate) Mike Maumbe is always with me in the gym and in the weight room."

Beilein, about to begin his first season at Niagara, spent the last four seasons as the head coach at Le Moyne. He played at West Virginia under his father, John, from 2002-06, helping the Mountaineers reach the Elite Eight and Sweet 16 in his final two seasons, respectively. He was the sixth man off the bench and was known, like most of his teammates, for being a pure perimeter shooter.

"Coach Beilein is amazing and I can't wait to play for him," McClurg said.

McClurg also has a host of Division II offers from West Liberty, West Virginia Wesleyan, Alderson Broaddus and Chowan.

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