Christian Kalacanic has the grades to go to the college of his choice, so he chose one where he can play ball.
On Aug. 14, Kalacanic signed with the USC-Salkehatchie College Men’s Basketball team.
“It feels great,” the Summerville High School honors graduate said after signing his letter of intent. “I can finally tell people where I’m going to go to pursue a career. I’m excited and grateful. I could have went to Clemson on a full (academic) ride but I just love the game so much that I had to go somewhere and play.”
He had offers to play for some out-of-state colleges but decided that wouldn’t be a sound financial decision. USC-Salkehatchie met his educational requirements as well as his financial requirements.
He plans to major in mechanical engineering, transfer to a four-year college and eventually earn a doctorate degree. While he had a lot of success on the court as the Green Wave’s center, at 6-4 Kalacanic is a bit undersized to play that position at the college level.
He is hoping first-year USC-Salkehatchie coach Corey Hendren will help him adjust to the college game so he can move on to play for a Division I or Division II college.
“Their program has been notorious for being able to send off players to the schools where they want to play,” he said. “The coach said even though he just got the job he already has people calling him about their players. The challenge for me is going to be improving my perimeter play. I need to get my dribbling and everything kind of oriented away from the post because at the college level there are going to be players bigger than me, those 6-10 guys and all, so I need to work on my ball handling and outside game.”
Kalacanic was an all-region player as a junior and senior who had the best GPA on the team.
He helped the Green Wave to two region titles and 40 victories. As a senior he averaged 11.6 points and 8.7 rebounds per game.
Hendren said Kalacanic is a good fit for his team because he can contribute on both sides of the court.
“Christian is an experienced post player who can step out and hit the jumper,” Hendren said. “He does a good job running the floor and he gets off the ground pretty well. He finishes at the rim, rebounds and he is much more physical than you would think just taking a glance at him. He will be a little undersized but I’m not too concerned because I know he is going to work and he is athletic enough to hang.”
Guard John Jenkins, who played with Kalacanic at SHS, has also signed to play for USC-Salkehatchie.
“They are both guys who should fit in well with what we do on the court and off the court,” Hendren said.
“I have a lot of respect for coach (Greg) Elliott and he had good things to say about them. He got me interested in them and after watching them on film I felt they could both help us out.”