Birt, Three-Star Recruit from Texas, Joins UIC Basketball Program|
May 3, 2013
CHICAGO - UIC head men's basketball coach Howard Moore announced the addition of 6-foot-5 wing Pat Birt from Plano East High School in Plano, Texas on Friday. Birt, who is a three-star recruit according to Rivals.com, will have four years of eligibility with the Flames beginning next season.
"We're excited to be able to bring a player of Pat's caliber into our program this late in the spring period," said Moore. "He's going to be a solid addition with his size, athleticism and skill at the wing spot. Pat is a great student from a very good family, and fits the mold of what we're looking for in our program going forward.
"This signing also keeps our foothold strong in the state of Texas, which is a priority for us in recruiting. We've been able to bring some very talented players from Texas into our program the past few years, and Pat is another one of those pieces."
Birt was a First-Team 5A All-State selection in Texas last season after averaging 17.0 points and 7.0 rebounds per game during District play. The Panthers (26-4) finished the 2012-13 campaign ranked No. 11 in the state. He was also named the District 10 "Most Valuable Player." Birt transferred to Plano East for his senior season after previously attending Arlington Grace Prep in Arlington.
Birt was also recruited by the likes of Auburn, Texas Tech, Fresno State, Florida Gulf Coast, College of Charleston, Akron, Northern Colorado and Long Island. After making an official visit to UIC in late April, Birt took just two days to inform Moore of his decision to continue his education and playing career at UIC.
According to Plano East head coach Jeff Clarkson, Moore and his staff is adding a versatile player that can fill the stat sheet and contribute in a variety of ways.
"Pat flourished in his role as a go-to scorer for us last season," said Clarkson. "He was able to be a focal point of our offense. He has a ton of upside, and is very versatile. He can rebound the ball, he can shoot the ball and he can drive it. Pat is really just scratching the surface of the type of player he can be. Coach Moore and his staff are getting a player that has huge upside, and a kid that is only going to get better during his career."
Birt represents the third player from the state of Texas to join UIC's basketball program under Moore, joining All-Horizon League point guard Gary Talton, who exhausted his eligibility last season, and junior-to-be Marc Brown, who attended Woodrow Wilson High School in Dallas.
Birt will join incoming freshmen Markese McGuire (6-3/200, G, Elkhart, Ind. [Memorial]) and Lance Whitaker (6-4/195, G/F, Bartlett, Ill. [Bartlett]), who signed National Letters of Intent last November, in UIC's 2013 recruiting class. Moore and his staff still have one more scholarship available for the 2013-14 campaign.