Family atmosphere drew Ahrens to Michigan State

By Kyle Shaner kshaner@civitasmedia.com

June 12, 2014

VERSAILLES — The first time Kyle Ahrens stepped on Michigan State University’s campus, he knew that’s where he wanted to be.

Ahrens, who is entering his senior year at Versailles, solidified that decision on Friday when he verbally committed to play basketball for Michigan State.

“I’m really excited,” Ahrens said. “I’m just so blessed to have that opportunity to play under coach (Tom) Izzo and his coaching staff.”

Ahrens made his commitment at the end of a two-day official visit to Michigan State. He took an unofficial visit to Michigan State last summer and immediately knew that was the right school for him.

“The first time I stepped foot on Michigan State it hit me, I knew,” the 6-foot 5-inch senior said. “It was like a dream come true for me.”

Michigan State has made the NCAA tournament in each of the past 17 seasons. The Spartans have won two national championships and are the defending Big Ten champions.

“They just work so hard, and I feel like I fit in so well there,” said Ahrens, who said he’s been a fan of the Spartans.

Ahrens chose Michigan State over the University of Dayton and Xavier University. In addition to those colleges, he also took unofficial visits to The Ohio State University, the University of Michigan, Miami University and Wright State University.

The thing that made Michigan State stand out from all the other options was how the Spartans are a family, Ahrens said.

“It just makes you want to stay there,” he said. “It’s really exciting.”

Ahrens, who will play wing at Michigan State, has excelled for Versailles the past three years and helped guide the Tigers to a state runner up finish as a sophomore. He missed most of his junior year, however, as he broke his leg during a game in December.

Prior the injury, which Ahrens said is about 85 percent healed, he averaged 22.0 points per game, 6.5 rebounds per game and 3.0 assists per game — all of which were team highs.

He’s back to playing with the King James Shooting Stars AAU team and is feeling good, he said. Play will pick up again next month, he said, when the King James squad travels to Milwaukee and Louisville for tournaments.

Ahrens has one more year of high school left in Versailles. He’s excited to get back on the court with the Tigers before leaving to join the Spartans.

“I’m really excited,” Ahrens said. “It’s also going to hit me when I finish because I’m going to miss these guys.”