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The Steele point guard who helped lead his team to a State Final 4 birth, waited until recently for his college decision. He’ll be heading to the Northeast to play for the University of New Hampshire (UNH), and we caught up for with him for an update.
Sometimes the recruiting process can be a long, arduous process, with more questions than answers. A few months after the season and even after top performances for 6A State Semi-finalist Steele High School, 6’3″ combo guard Kijana Love, was patiently waiting to see what opportunities would come up.
Within those last few months, the UNH staff had picked up it’s recruiting efforts on Love, and his official visit took care of the rest this past week.
“It felt good, it was a long process, me and my family were happy to finally come to a conclusion,” said Love. “They had been talking to me for about 2 to 3 months. I had gotten a call from them a little bit after the season was over, we just went from there and that’s where I ending up going.”
The Wildcats return plenty of experience to a 20 win team from last season, and it’s a roster that’s heavy with Texas and area ties. Graduating senior Ronnel Jordan of Cole High School was a key contributor in his senior year, starting 29 of 33 games. Tanner Leissner of Judson, will be a junior this fall and has taken the America East Conference by storm. As a sophomore he earned All Conference 1st Team, and his relationship with Love, along with so many other native Texans (Jaleen Smith, Andrew Dotson, Jacoby Armstrong, Daniel Dion, & Jordan Reed) did play a big factor.
“That played into the decision. It’s (New Hampshire) a long way from home, with those guys there, I saw that and they must like it. So that played into my decision,” said Love. “I went up on my visit, after I went on the visit that’s when I decided that this is where I was really going. When we went up there I really liked it and that’s when I made my decision.”While on campus, his visit was more about getting to know UNH, and what it had to offer. He had a detailed tour of the campus, went over the academics and looked at what major’s he’d be pursuing, UNH’s top business school was surprising and intriguing, and in the end he also got to take in the city of Durham.
Before deciding on the Wildcats, Kijana did have some other options and as summer approached, he was considering all comers. From D2 offers to D3, and quite a few juco’s had also offered scholarship.
While the process was long, the talented senior remained patient and showed that, although it can be a trying and exhausting process, his patience paid off.
“I took the process as it came to me. I didn’t want to go somewhere, where I didn’t want to be. We took it slow. I knew something would come and it did.”
Love will go back in July for a few weeks to participate in a summer team workout regiment, will get to come back home afterwards and and then report back in August for class.