Nov. 13, 2009
Columbia, Mo. -
Mizzou Basketball Coach Mike Anderson announced the signing of three student athletes to National Letters of Intent on Friday, as Kadeem Green (Charlotte, N.C./United Faith), Rick Kreklow (Columbia, Mo. / Rock Bridge) and Phil Pressey (Dallas, Texas / Episcopal) inked to play for the Tigers beginning with the 2010-11 campaign.
"We are certainly excited to have these three young men join our program," Head Coach Mike Anderson said. "All three come from tremendous families and they are very talented basketball players. We were able to attract three guys that we identified early on in the recruiting process and that speaks volumes about the growth of the Mizzou brand. These three young guys fit our brand and we are elated that each of them wanted to become Tigers."
A native of Columbia and the son of Mizzou Volleyball coaches Wayne and Susan Kreklow, Rick Kreklow gives the Tigers an athletic perimeter shooter for the coming years. The 6-foot-5, 185-pounder averaged 13.0 points, 4.5 assists and hit 56 three-pointers for Head Coach Jim Scanlon and Rock Bridge High School in 2009. The Bruins finished third in the 2009 Missouri Class 5A state championships with a 28-3 overall record.
"We have had a chance to be around Ricky and his family for the past four years and as many Tiger fans know, he is a terrific young man and a very talented basketball player," Anderson said. "He's really a basketball-savvy guy. He can really shoot the basketball and extends defenses. He's also a good passer and possesses the toughness that we like. He's a great fit for our program."
He played on the AAU scene with L.J. Goolsby's Kansas City Pump N Run squad and was a summer teammate of current Tiger Michael Dixon. He selected Missouri over California, Stanford, Minnesota and Virginia.
"Rick is excited," Wayne Kreklow said. "He really did his research. It wasn't an automatic that he was going to go to Mizzou just because we are here. He looked at a lot of schools, but in the end he was sold on Coach Anderson, the staff and the players in the program. One thing Susan and I did was let him make his own decisions. We both played collegiately and having those experiences, we knew the decision had to be all his. Of course we are happy it worked out this way and we'll have a chance to watch him play more often, but it was all Rick's call."
Missouri returned to the state of North Carolina to nab 6-foot-9, 210 pound forward Kadeem Green of United Faith Christian Academy in Charlotte, N.C. The Tigers currently have two players on their roster (Zaire Taylor
and Justin Safford
) that played prep school basketball in North Carolina and add a talented post player that has been ranked as one of the state's top prospects.
"Kadeem is an athletic, skilled forward that uses his 7-foot-1 wingspan to rebound and stay active on both ends of the floor," Anderson said. "We like his versatility. He can really run the floor and like so many of our young guys, his best basketball is in front of him."
A native of Ontario, Canada, Green was a pivotal part of United Faith's state championship club in 2009, helping Head Coach Shaun Wiseman's crew to a 32-5 mark in the North Carolina Independent School Athletics Association. Green averaged 11 points, seven rebounds and four blocks per game for a United Faith team that won the 1A title, knocking off Word of God Academy in the finals.
"Missouri is getting a long, athletic and skilled combo forward," Head Coach Sean Wiseman said. "Kadeem has a lot of upside and the fit into Missouri's system is a good one."
Pressey comes to Mizzou as one of America's elite recruits. He is listed as the #16 player in America by 2K Sports and Dime Magazine and is a candidate for the McDonald's All-America game. As a junior the 5-foot-10, 160-pound guard averaged 19 points and 10 assists a game for Dallas Episcopal. He also contributed four steals and five rebounds a night, while leading his team to a 27-5 overall mark.
"For us, Phillip is one of the best point guards in the country," Anderson said. "He's a winner. He has a toughness and tremendous feel for the game. He has a high Basketball IQ and he's a great passer. He's not afraid to make the big play and he has the ability to make the players around him better. Our style fits the way he wants to play."
The son of 11-year NBA veteran and New Orleans Hornets assistant coach Paul Pressey, has the lineage to fit perfectly into The Fastest 40 Minutes of Basketball. His father was the college roommate of Anderson at the University of Tulsa and played for Nolan Richardson for two seasons at Tulsa before beginning his professional career. While Paul Pressey was the original "Point-Forward" in the NBA and a three-time NBA All-Defensive Team pick, his son is a lightning-quick guard that boasts a 39-inch vertical jump and is one of America's fastest guards with the basketball in his hands.
"Not many people know this, but my first encounter with Coach Anderson was playing against him in the junior college national championship game and we really just connected," Paul Pressey said. "I have a lot of love for Mike. We became the best of friends at Tulsa. We were roommates and shared so many great experiences. As we got older, our families spent time together and he was 'Uncle Mike' to our kids. During the recruiting process, Mike did an excellent job showing Phil `Coach Anderson' not `Uncle Mike'. He sold the program and I couldn't be happier that Phil is going to play for him. It really was a perfect fit. Not just the style of play, but the overall program. I know Mike is going to help him grow into a young man. He's going to get a great education and he's going to develop on the basketball court. As a parent, I couldn't ask for anything more than to have a man I love and respect watch over my son."
Missouri returns to action tonight (Nov. 13) by hosting Northwest Missouri State inside Mizzou Arena. Game time is slated for 7 p.m. and the game will be aired live on the Mizzou Sports Network.
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