Golden Eagles ink Milwaukee prep Kirk

Jacob Shames
Crookston Times
Minnesota Crookston signee Ron Kirk Jr. in action for Dominican H.S. against Sierra Canyon H.S. on Jan. 18, 2020 in Springfield, Mass.

Milwaukee has proven to be a fruitful recruiting ground for the Minnesota Crookston men's basketball team over the years. With their first signee in the 2021 class, the Golden Eagles are hoping that trend continues.

Ron Kirk Jr., a 6-foot-4, 176-pound guard from Dominican High School, signed a National Letter of Intent to play for Minnesota Crookston next season. 

Kirk averaged 20.7 points, 9.1 rebounds, 3.0 rebounds and 1.2 steals per game during his senior season at Dominican, where he was a Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association Honorable Mention All-State selection and Second Team All-Metro Classic Conference pick. He scored at least 20 points in nine of 22 games this season, including a season high of 32 against Pius X Catholic.

“Ronald Kirk is a highly skilled player who really likes being coached and improving on his craft,” Dominican H.S. coach Jim Gosz said in a release. “He is really going to have a fantastic career at UMN Crookston, as he will develop into a great guard under Coach Weisse. He is a really great teammate and leader. I really enjoyed coaching Ronald the past four years, as he worked extremely hard to be rewarded to play at Crookston. 

"The Crookston community will be getting an excellent student and even better person. The students and faculty at Crookston will really enjoy Ronald's personality and work ethic. Ronald was an honor roll student at a strong private school. Ronald was one of my all-time favorites to coach, and to describe him in two words: ‘great kid'. "

UMC coach Dan Weisse coached with Gosz at Rufus King H.S. in Milwaukee during the 2004-2005 season. Weisse said that Gosz called him about Kirk this winter, putting Kirk on his radar.

"When Jim Gosz calls you about a guy that he thinks can fit and help your program, you listen," Weisse said in a release. "Since then, in getting to know Ronald, everything Coach Gosz says about him is true. He's a top-notch person that comes from a great family. Ronald will bring to us athleticism and versatility at the guard position. He can shoot it from the perimeter and can really finish at the rim. I'm excited to see him battle with some of the older guys on the team."

Kirk is the continuation of a recruiting trend for the Golden Eagles. Under Weisse, an Oshkosh native who played college basketball at Wisconsin-Milwaukee, UMC has had success with players from the state, especially its largest city. Harrison Cleary, the program and NSIC's all-time leading scorer, played high school basketball at Oak Creek H.S. in the Milwaukee suburbs.

"I chose Minnesota Crookston, not only for the athletics, but the campus family as well,” Kirk said in a release. “The students, teachers, and staff have much to offer and can help to build success outside of my basketball career. My biggest strengths as a player would have to be my speed, athleticism, and ability to create.”

At UMC, Kirk will slot in with returning guards such as Brian Sitzmann, Ethan Channel, Tyrese Shines and Zach Westphal. Sitzmann averaged 11.5 points per game last season and Channel averaged 10.0 points and 4.9 rebounds per tilt.

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