It is easy to call Bellevue West forward William Kyle III a breakout star of the summer. That is if you didn’t pay close attention to Bellevue West basketball last season. Kyle started every game as a junior for the Class A runner-up T-Birds averaging 9.3 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game.
His first Division I offer came on Tuesday when Purdue Fort Wayne offered the 6-foot-8 senior.
“They (Fort Wayne) have been recruiting me since February and they got some time to watch me in-person at all three tournaments in July,” Kyle siad of Fort Wayne. “They said how they love how I protect the rim and how I run the floor and have a tremendous upside.”
When the phone call with Mastodon head coach Jon Coffman ended, Kyle and his family realized their dream was within reach.
“It was an amazing moment for our family,” Kyle said. “To see my hard work paying off and my mom and dad both were emotional. It was a great moment for my family.”
Fort Wayne isn’t the only Division I school that has shown interest in the developing forward. Omaha, Longwood, IUPUI, Northern Colorado, Air Force, St. Bonaventure and South Dakota State have all been in contact.
He will take an official visit to Fort Wayne on Tuesday and an unofficial to SDSU on Thursday.
Many observers believe Kyle is just scratching the surface as to how good of a player he can be. He knows he isn’t a finished product as a player and has plenty he can get better at.
“I feel like I need to get better with my jump shot, my footwork and balance,” he said. “I am working on getting stronger. I have actually put on 15 pounds since the end of the high school season.”
Kyle’s first offer at any level was Division II Wayne State. Kearney, Fort Lewis, Chadron and Sioux Falls were a few more Division II schools that followed.
“My ability to run the floor, rebound, and do the little things to help my team win were factors in my recruitment picking up during the live periods.”
Kyle played AAU for Nebraska Supreme on the Under Armour shoe circuit, his first experience playing in front of numerous Division I coaches at one time.
“I feel like my first real experience with AAU basketball on a bigger stage was the most amazing experience I have ever had playing basketball,” he said. “I loved it and the group of guys on the team are great and we are going to be brothers for life.”