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Archive for Thursday, July 6, 2006

Former SM East star leaves Evansville

Christie coming to KU, but not for hoops

July 6, 2006

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J.D. Christie, a first-team all-state basketball player out of Shawnee Mission East who signed a letter-of-intent with the University of Evansville in April, has left the Indiana school and decided to enroll at Kansas University.

The 6-foot-6 Christie, who averaged 19 points and 10 rebounds a game for state-runner-up SM East and was not recruited by KU, at this time has no plans to attempt to walk on the Jayhawk team.

The 40-percent three-point shooter says he's "burned out" on basketball right now and has immediate plans to concentrate on obtaining a business management degree on Mount Oread.

"The only reason I left Evansville is I don't feel like playing anymore," Christie told the Journal-World. "I think I'll rest on basketball a little bit and concentrate on my education."

Christie, who carried a 3.7 grade-point average in high school, recently started summer school at Evansville, but left after a week.

"I just felt the reason I was there was to play basketball and I felt I was a little burned out and wanted to do other things in life, to go to school and everything," Christie said. "I don't want to play basketball right now. I want to get an education and go to school."

Christie, who is SM East's all-time leading scorer with 1,562 points, says there's always the chance he could contact KU's coaches down the line about perhaps landing a walk-on

position on the Jayhawk squad.

"At this point, I don't think I'm going to (attend walk-on tryouts in fall)," he said. "Right now I'm just concentrating on trying to get into school. I may eventually decide to do it (talk to KU coaches). It (his career) is on hold right now. I'm not sure I'll pursue walking on or anything. If I decided to play again I'd talk to them. When the situation comes, I'd weigh it."

He said the Evansville coaches were naturally "disappointed, but I think deep down felt if it's time for me to leave, it's better I leave now than in the middle of the season. It wasn't the players, the university or coaches, just me wanting to focus on my education."

Christie, who said he's been playing basketball since fourth grade - the sport didn't become his favorite until eighth grade - says he realizes some may understand it's difficult to give up a scholarship at Evansville.

"I made the decision and I'll have to live with it," he said. "Right now I am happy, confident with my decision. I know Evansville will do a great job and do well. My (family members) are OK with it. They want what's best for me. They want me to be focused on everything. They are supportive of my decision and looking forward to my career at KU in academics."

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