Holmes Community College freshman guard 6'4 Keith "K.J." Gilmore of Atlanta signed a national letter of intent Wednesday to play basketball next season with the University of Arkansas at Little Rock Trojans and for Coach Wes Flanigan, brother of Holmes Head Coach Jason Flanigan.
The Southwest DeKalb, Ga. graduate averaged 16.7 points, 6.3 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 1.6 steals and 1.5 blocks coming out of high school. He was named MVP, All-State and All-Region. After two games with the Bulldogs, Gilmore is averaging 8.5 points and 2.5 rebounds.
"I chose them because I made a great relationship with the coach," Gilmore said. "When I went up there to visit, I liked the way they play and the players they have, and I like the campus."
Gilmore said Holmes has been good so far. "Practice is hard, but I know it's going to pay off," Gilmore said. "We've just got to figure it out."
"He's a great kid who comes from a great home," Coach Jason Flanigan said. "He needs to step up with leadership a little bit more and communicate a little bit more. He also needs to defend better. He works every day, and I couldn't ask for a better person. We are expecting big things in the future."
Flanigan said UALR wanted to offer him out of high school but they didn't have any scholarships available, and Coach Wes Flanigan encouraged him to come to Holmes. "They wanted to offer but didn't have any scholarships left and told him Holmes would be a great place for him," Coach Jason Flanigan said. "He came over here and he's doing well in the classroom and well for us on the court. We've just got to get a win on Tuesday.
"I think their (UALR) program is one of the better mid-major programs in the country. He's taking over a program that won 30 games last year, and I know they'll do well, but he needs talent. K.J. brings that. Hopefully this year they can continue to build on what they have done in the past and get back to the tournament. Next year K.J. will be able to step in and contribute right away."
Coach Wes Flanigan said Gilmore will be able to play several positions for the Trojans in 2017-18. "Last year as a senior in high school he led his team in scoring and was second on the team in rebounding and assists. After spending this year in junior college playing against older and strong athletes, there is no question in my mind that he will be able to come in next year and contribute immediately."