Kerri Kosten, Local Sports, Sports, University

COLUMN: K.J. McClurg wraps up freshman year at New Hampshire


K.J. McClurg played basketball since he was five years old.

“I first got into basketball at the age of 5, my dad got me into a rec basketball league at Ridgedale Elementary School,” said McClurg, who just finished his freshman season at New Hampshire.

A Morgantown native, he is a 2020 graduate of University High.

As a freshman this season, McClurg scored a career-high 18 points against Bryant University. He grabbed three rebounds and had two assists. He hit five free throws against Maine. He scored 8 points twice, against Keene State College and UMass Lowell.

“My freshman season has had its ups and downs. Starting the year with the pandemic was restricting the college basketball experience that players normally get ,but as a team, we try to make the best of it every single day,” McClurg said. “When we started playing and competing against other schools was very unique and a great experience, but as soon as it started, I got injured and had to miss 2-3 weeks, but since then I am getting better every single day and trying to improve my game.”

With this season in the books, McClurg averaged 12 minutes per game and just over four points.

As a Hawk, McClurg was part of the team that won the first ever state championship in UHS history in 2019.

“Winning a state championship was my biggest goal going into high school at UHS. In middle school going to the state tournament and seeing the players and teams compete at that level was so inspiring and made me want to be there and win and have the emotions of winning something worth so much. Following my junior season, my senior season was cut short and we believed we were the best team in the state and would’ve won another state championship.”

He scored 1,294 career points during his high school career..

He averaged 21.4 points, 4.7 rebounds, 3.2 assists, and 2.5 steals per game as a junior and senior. He was named to the all-state first team as a senior and all-state second team as a junior.

McClurg decided New Hampshire was for him during his recruitment.

“Going through recruiting, I felt that UNH was the best home for me and gave me the best chance to expand my game but also give me a great education.,” he said. “To be honest, with COVID, there are a lot of restrictions and things are different than normal. The university is really doing a good job controlling the spread and making it the safest environment it can for the students and professors.”

Catching up on sleep is one of the things McClurg enjoys in his spare time.

He was a member of the National Honor Society and Mu Alpha Theta (U.S. math honor society) in high school. Growing up, his favorite player was Rajon Rondo.