A Myerscough College basketball student is ready to make a name for himself in the States after signing a scholarship.
Kiko Stavrev is preparing to play in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division 1 for Weber State University Wildcats after agreeing a full athletic scholarship for the 2015-16 season. He had originally committed to join another college in the USA but after receiving interest from a number of schools opted to head to the Big Sky Conference.
Kiko, who came to study at Myerscough College from his native Bulgaria, said: ‘’Playing in Division 1 has always been my dream and Weber State is a great fit for me. I like working with Coach Rahe and his team".
"Playing in the Big Sky Conference and to be a part of a programme with so much history is something that I am very proud of. It’s always been a dream for me to play college basketball in the United States.’’
"Joining Myerscough was the best decision I have made - I have been pushed in every part of my game and have learnt so much, I would like to thank everyone who has helped me on my journey".
Kiko played a huge part in Myerscough College Basketball Academy’s successful 2014-15 season, which yielded four national titles. Myerscough Head Coach, Neal Hopkins, said: "I am very proud of Kiko and it is great to see him continue his journey at a Division 1 school, especially to a programme such as Weber State".
“I worked really hard to make sure he had a great option. He had a couple other schools that were really interested in him, but as soon as we found out that Weber State was interested we were all over that. His dream has always been to play at the Division I level, so to have this opportunity at Weber State was just what he wanted.”
"Kiko is a resilient and hard-working guy who will not shy away from making such a move, he made a big decision to move to Myerscough from Bulgaria and I am glad that it has all worked out so well for him - I am sure he will be a big success".
The 19-year-old, originally from Sofia, was given the chance by Weber State’s Head Coach Randy Rahe, who took him on after seeing videos of him in action for Myerscough.
He’s now looking forward to the American season, which gets underway soon: “I love the team, the guys are pretty good.
‘’I’ve become like part of a family already and I really like that. I fit i the team perfectly and I think I can do big things around here.”
Kiko is one of a number to move on from Myerscough to play and study in America, and follows in the footsteps of students such as Bradley Fisher (Emporia State) and Earl Russell (Gillette College).
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by Dave Salmon