Absence certainly made the heart grow fonder for Donnovan Kirk. The 6-foot-8 forward from Detroit is back on the court after a good time away from it.
Per Michigan rules, Kirk had to sit out the first semester because of his transfer. Kirk returned to the court on Jan. 26 after transferring from Notre Dame to Country Day.
The four-star forward didn't waste any time getting back on the scene. Kirk scored 13 points, grabbed eight rebounds and had four blocks in his first game back.
"I dunked on somebody and that just helped me release. I was like, 'Yeah! I'm back.' You know what I mean? The last time I really played was in the summer," Kirk said. "It makes me play harder and I think it helped everyone else play harder."
Despite his time away from the real games, Kirk was able to fine tune his craft with teammates DeShonte Riley, a five-star prospect from the class of 2009, and rising star Amir Williams, a freshman big man with great upside.
"It helped a whole lot. Being able to practice to with them, you really had to focus on keeping the ball up high and making quick moves in the post. I think I was lucky to have them," Kirk said.
To his surprise, the college coaches didn't go away when he was out of action. "Actually, it surprised me. It actually picked up," he said.
Kirk said Michigan State was there to see him play on Saturday and the Spartans were in the mix throughout the entire year. Kirk said MSU has offered while Southern Cal and Iowa recently tendered free rides as well. Like Michigan State, Miami remained hot in the hunt during the year, too, he said.
"Everybody is still probably the same. I think some stay in contact more than others but it is all still the same," Kirk said. "It doesn't matter where they are located. I don't like the cold but I still like Michigan State."
Even with a number of offers, Kirk said he wants to earn even more. Now that he is back on the court, that shouldn't be a problem.
"I'm ready to start getting those offers," Kirk said. "I know I have to do whatever it takes and show that I'm ready. It feels good to be back on the court to do that. I really thought my recruitment was going to be put on hold. I really did. Sometimes it does. I'm glad it didnâ€™t for me."