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Santa Maria Sun / Athlete of the Week

The following article was posted on January 25th, 2017, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 17, Issue 47 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 17, Issue 47

Erik Kinnebrew

By JASON O'NEILL

Athletic potential can be a tricky thing. On one hand, it can be an alluring temptress filled with promise and hope. On another, it can be unfulfilled aspirations that lead to regret and disappointment. We see this in every professional league in America during the annual drafts, and every year there are players picked based on their potential.

As this season has progressed, Allan Hancock College’s Erik Kinnebrew displayed flashes of potential that would leave some Division One coaches lining up to recruit him. The 6-foot-6-inch tall freshman guard had double digit points and rebounds in a game against Los Angeles Pierce College in late December, and then he followed that up with a monster game against El Dorado College in mid-January.  In the game against El Dorado, Kinnebrew had the first triple double for a Hancock player in recent memory. A triple double is when a single player achieves double digits in three statistical categories.


ERIK KINNEBREW
PHOTO COURTESY OF VICTOR ARMENDARIZ

Kinnebrew was raised in Southern California and attended St. Anthony’s High School in Long Beach. As a child, Kinnebrew was always around basketball. His father, Elbert Kinnebrew, is the director of the CalSparks AAU program. The elder Kinnebrew has been a girls’ basketball coach in the LA area for years, and the CalSparks program is one of the top Nike sponsored programs in Southern California.  

“Being around the gym every day growing up, that helped me a lot in growing my love for the game,” Erik Kinnebrew said. “And always knowing that the work you put in always pays off in the end.”

Yet despite the tutelage of his father and love for the game, Kinnebrew played just one year of varsity basketball in high school. Kinnebrew was only 5 feet 8 inches tall in high school and was not a highly regarded player on his own team.  After graduation, Kinnebrew decided to enroll at Middlebrooks Academy, a prep school focused on basketball players in grades six through post-graduate. While at Middlebrooks, Kinnebrew hit a growth spurt that shot him up to his current height. Prep sensation Kobe Paras was a teammate and friend of Kinnebrew’s during his time at Middlebrooks and is now the starting point guard for the Creighton Bluejays. During his time at Middlebrooks, Kinnebrew was able to use the program’s top-notch facilities to assist in growing into his body and advancing his skills.

“That extra year definitely molded me to get used to my body and continue to get better on the court,” Kinnebrew said. “That extra year really helped.” 




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