Buc to Blazer, Kirkland Headed to UAB

Buc to Blazer, Kirkland Headed to UAB
FORT MYERS, Fla.- After helping the Florida SouthWestern State Buccaneers to a pair of NJCAA National Tournament berths, big man Simeon Kirkland has signed to continue his career at the University of Alabama-Birmingham.  
Kirkland was a Second Team All-Conference pick or the Bucs as a sophomore this season, averaging 8.6 points and 5.2 rebounds per game while shooting 53% from the field for the Suncoast Conference Champs.  He played in 28 games, starting nine, logging 17.8 minutes per game for the Purple and Aqua.  He scored in double figures 13 times on the year including a career high 16 against Wake Tech early in the year.  He registered 10 rebounds on two occasions, both in double-doubles against Snow and Combine Academy. Efficient on the block, Kirkland shot 50% or better in 18 of 28 games this season, including five games in which he connected on all of his field goal attempts.  
In two seasons with the Bucs, Kirkland helped FSW to a 59-5 overall record and helped position them on top of the NJCAA National Poll for 12 weeks over the past two years. The Bucs' 2020 class did not lose a single Suncoast Conference game at a perfect 24-0 and earned two trips to the NJCAA National Tournament where they finished 5th in 2019 before seeing the 2020 tournament cancelled due to COVID-19.  
The Blazers were on their way to their third straight 20 win season in 2019-2020 before their season came to a premature ending.  UAB was 19-13 overall and 9-9 in Conference USA action and earned a first round win in the Conference USA Tournament to close their year.  Kirkland becomes the sixth signee for new Blazer Head Coach Andy Kennedy who takes over at UAB after 12 seasons at Ole Miss.  
Kirkland is the seventh Division I signee for FSW, joining Keon Ellis (Alabama), Berrick JeanLouis (Iona), Jermaine Marshall (Akron), Ralph Bissainthe (Central Michigan), De'Lazarus Keys (Texas A&M-Corpus Christi), and Sebastian Guitian (South Carolina State).  The eighth FSW sophomore, Jalen Finch is expected to join the group shortly.