Kyle Kuric

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Kyle Kuric
Estudiantes vs Unicaja Málaga - Kyle Kuric - 02.jpg
Kyle Kuric during a game with Estudiantes in 2013.
No. 24 – Herbalife Gran Canaria
Position Shooting guard / Small forward
League Liga ACB
EuroCup
Personal information
Born (1989-08-25) August 25, 1989 (age 27)
Nationality American / Slovak
Listed height 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Listed weight 195 lb (88 kg)
Career information
High school Memorial (Evansville, Indiana)
College Louisville (2008–2012)
NBA draft 2012 / Undrafted
Playing career 2012–present
Career history
2012–2014 Estudiantes
2014–present Herbalife Gran Canaria
Career highlights and awards

Kyle Matthew Kuric (born August 25, 1989[1]) is an American professional basketball player who plays for Herbalife Gran Canaria of the Liga ACB. Kuric grew up in Evansville, Indiana, and graduated from Memorial High School in 2008. Kuric is most noted for leading the Louisville Cardinals to a win in the last game Louisville played at Freedom Hall,[2] and being named winner of the "2011 Papa John's Dunk of the Year".[3] Kuric is of Slovak descent, and also has a Slovak passport.[4][5]

High school[edit]

Kuric as a senior averaged 20.8 points, 6.7 rebounds, 1.8 steals and 1.3 blocked shots.[1] Kuric led a senior heavy Memorial team to the school's first sectional championship in 12 years.[6] Memorial was ranked number 1 in the 3A in Indiana for several weeks during the season.[1]

Kuric was named the 2008 Evansville Courier & Press All-Metro Player of the Year,[7] a second team AP all-state honoree and was ranked No. 147 in the ESPN 150 listing of the top players in the class of 2008. He was selected to the Indiana All-Star team in 2008.[1] Following high school he signed a letter of intent to play for the University of Louisville Cardinals.

College career[edit]

Kuric saw little game action his freshman year mainly playing behind Terrence Williams who was a lottery pick in the 2009 NBA Draft. Kuric's most notable game as a sophomore was Louisville's final game held in Freedom Hall against then No. 1 ranked Syracuse Orange. He scored 22 points, all in the second half, to lead Louisville to the upset win.[8] Kuric added three rebounds, two assists, a steal, and four dunks while connecting on 9-of-11 field goals (4-of-6 three-pointers).[9] Pat Forde of ESPN called him the "unlikely hero" of that game.[10]

Kuric ended his junior season as the 2nd leading scorer for a Louisville team that many believe overachieved. Preseason predictions had them 8th in the Big East Conference and they did not receive a single vote in the preseason top 25 poll nationally.[11] The Cardinals ended the season with a record of 25-10 and ranked number 11. They placed third in the Big East regular season and reached the final game of the Big East Conference tournament losing to UConn Huskies by 3 points. The Cardinals were seeded 4th in the NCAA tournament, but were upset in the first round by 13th seed Morehead State University. Kuric came on strong in Big East Conference play by averaging a team-high 15.1 points and 5.8 rebounds over the last 13 games, hitting 34-of-74 three-pointers (.459) and 53.8 percent from the field. He was third in the Big East in Three-point field goal percentage (.449, 70-of-156) and was seventh in field goal percentage(.514).[12]

Kuric scored the winning layup on a pass from Preston Knowles with four seconds left to cap a 24-5 run against Marquette Golden Eagles in the last 5:44 of the game.[11] This game has been dubbed the "Miracle on Main Street".[13] Kuric was selected to the Big East Honor Roll on Feb. 14 after averaging 25.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and hitting 62.1 percent from the field—including 9-of-14 three-point goals (.643) -- as Louisville split games against Notre Dame and Syracuse.[12]

Kyle Kuric's monster slam dunk in the waning seconds of the first half at Notre Dame was voted as the "2011 Papa John's Dunk of the Year". Kuric's dunk received 45 percent of the votes in a Facebook fan poll to earn the national title.[14]

Kuric was selected a tri-captain of the 2011–12 University of Louisville Men's basketball team along with Peyton Siva and Chris Smith.[15] Kuric was the leading scorer during his senior season. The Cardinals won the Big East Tournament and Kuric was named to the Big East All-tournament team. Louisville went to the Final Four after a comeback win over Florida in the Elite Eight game but lost to Kentucky in a highly anticipated national semifinal in New Orleans.

Kuric was crowned U of L's Homecoming King on October 9, 2010 at halftime of the Cards' homecoming football game vs. Memphis Tigers.[11] He is frequently called "King Kyle" because of this selection.

Kuric has some significant off-court accomplishments as well. He has been selected for the Dean's List and AD honor roll at U of L several times. He also served as the student representative on the U of L Athletic Association Board of Directors, the governing body for the Cardinals' athletic department. He was honored as U of L's Most Outstanding Sophomore in April 2010.[11] During his senior year at Louisville, Kuric founded a charity to assist children in the Kentuckiana area. Kyle's Korner for Kids in cooperation with the University of Louisville athletic department collected halloween costumes for the Home for the Innocents and toys for children hospitalized on Christmas at Kosairs Children's Hospital.[16]

College honors[edit]

  • 4x Big East Men's Basketball Tournament (2009–2012)
  • Big East All Tournament Team 2012
  • 4x NCAA Tournament Appearance (2009–2012)
  • Final Four 2012
  • 2011 Dunk of the Year Winner
  • 2012 Capitol One Academic All District 2 Team

Professional career[edit]

After playing at Louisville, in the NCAA Division I, Kuric started his pro career in 2012, with the Spanish club Asefa Estudiantes,[17] where he stayed for two seasons, until signing with Herbalife Gran Canaria on 31 July 2014.[18]

Kuric played for the Phoenix Suns' summer team in the 2016 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas. He returned to Herbalife Gran Canaria for the 2016–17 season. Herbalife Gran Canaria won the season's curtain raiser competition, the 2016 Spanish Supercup in September, and Kuric was named the MVP of the tournament.

Personal information[edit]

Kuric was born in Pennsylvania, but grew up in Evansville, Indiana. He has one sister, Katie, who was a goalkeeper on the women's soccer team at the University of Louisville.[15] Kuric's father is a neurosurgeon, and his mother is a nurse practitioner. Kuric married Taraneh Momeni Kuric on July 5, 2013. He is the father of twin sons born August 2, 2015 - Arsalan Matthew and Arshan Michael.

On 5 November 2015, Kuric had surgery to remove brain tumors that were diagnosed two days before.[19] He eventually underwent two additional surgeries to control brain swelling and to place an skull implant.

References[edit]

External links[edit]