The University at Buffalo men's basketball team has signed junior college power forward David Kadiri.
He's a 6-foot-8 Maryland native who played last season at South Plains College, which lost in the National Junior College Athletic Association championship game last month. South Plains is in Levelland, Texas.
UB loses power forward Xavier Moss, who had a big senior season for the Bulls this year. Kadiri has some of Moss' traits.
"David is a high-energy, high-character forward with a non-stop motor that fits our style perfectly," said UB coach Nate Oats. "With two of the best point guards in our league in Lamonte and Jarryn, we needed to get an athletic big that can run in transition, and that is exactly what we have in David. He is super athletic and fans will be excited to watch the way he can finish above the rim."
Lamonte Bearden and Jarryn Skeete are UB's top returning guards with the expected departure of Shannon Evans.
Kadiri played in the same conference as Midland College, where new UB assistant coach Bryan Hodgson served as an aide.
"This was big for Coach Hodgson to get one of the best available post players in his first week on the job," said Oats
"David’s a hard-playing guy," said South Plains coach Steve Green. "He’s got a great motor. He scores around the basket. He’s got a little jump hook shot. I think the best thing about him is he brings the energy every day. He’s consistent. His effort and energy is there every day. He’s a good kid, good family. I think he’ll get a little bit better playing with a little bit better players. I think he can shoot a little shot out to about 15 feet. He didn’t do that for us. But I think at the next level he’ll probably be able to do some more of that."
Bringing the effort and energy was the trademark of Ford's game. Kadiri has two years of eligibility remaining.
Kadiri did not put up huge numbers, averaging 12 minutes and 6.2 points a game. South Plains played a lot of players. He played strong down the stretch of the season. In the national title game loss to Northwest Florida State, Kadiri had 13 points, 14 rebounds and eight blocks in 28 minutes. South Plains lost in overtime, 83-80.
"I’d classify him a small 6-8, if that makes any sense," Green said. "He’s a 4 or a 5. I had a lot of really, really good players. He came on halfway through our conference season. We changed our lineup around and put him in the starting lineup and played him. We played him all the way thorugh the national tournament as a starter. He probably had a better national tournament than anyone else on our team. Had we won the thing, you could make a case he’d have been the MVP of the national tournament."
"He had some people in Texas that were interested in him, but he really had his heart set on going back East," Green said.