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What Do We Know About Matt Kamieniecki?
What Do We Know About Matt Kamieniecki?
Jim Meadows
Published by Swampy Meadows
02-26-2009
What Do We Know About Matt Kamieniecki?

BEVERLY HILLS (MI) –- It’s time for another installment of “What Do We Know About…” the semi-regular “From the Swamp” feature on UD recruiting targets. Today’s subject is Class of 2010 SF Matt Kamieniecki, a 6’7” 210 lb. player from Clarkston (MI) HS. I have been trying to see Matt play for several weeks but I was either in Chicago or on vacation, which is where I happened to be when he played right down the road at Southfield HS. Tonight the Clarkston Wolves were at home facing Ryan Perryman Prep, otherwise known as Oak Park HS and “FTS” was there.

If the name “Kamieniecki” sounds vaguely familiar it is because Matt’s dad Scott was a major league pitcher for 10 years, primarily with the Yankees.

The drive up I-75 to Clarkston is one I have made many times over the last 10 years for volleyball and water polo matches, HS band competitions and especially for the Younger Swampette’s softball games. Clarkston is one of those semi-new, 2,000+ student mega-schools, complete with the killer gym and the Olympic size swimming pool. The Wolves are coached by U of M grad Dan Fife, whose older son Dane starred at Indiana and is now the head dude at IUP-Ft. Wayne, while younger bro Dugan also played at Michigan. Clarkston is neck and neck with Detroit Pershing for the #1 ranking in the state and they are currently undefeated at 16-0. Coach Fife has a lot of weapons at his disposal and Matt Kamieniecki is a primary one.

A coupla things we do know about Matt (besides the fact that he’s got a lot of vowels in his surname) is that he has been to UD Arena to see a Flyers’ game this season and he does not currently hold an offer from Dayton. Only Western Michigan and IUP-Ft. Wayne (big surprise there) have offered him a full ride thus far. That makes Matt unique from my personal perspective, because the Detroit-area players I have seen play in the recent past were either signed (Devin Searcy and Paul Williams) or have had an offer (Isaiah Sykes).

The Clarkston/Oak Park tilt was being televised on MHSAA TV which is available on channel 900 on the Comcast digital tier. The “Standing Room Only” student section pulled the old trick of reading the newspaper while Oak Park was being introduced. They were pretty rowdy.

I found myself seated next to Clarkston PG Brandon Verlinden’s dad and he was feeding me some insights on the team. Oak Park is playing without K’allante Miller, a 6’5” Central Michigan signee who apparently got kicked off the team. Brandon played a nice game.

Matt is going with the old school look, sporting a white t-shirt under his uni. He looks like he might not be done growing; has huge feet; needs to add weight and muscle, but he can run well and is very mobile.

The K Man scored 6 points in the 1st period, including a stellar drive and slam, for which he got an unwarranted technical for hanging on the rim -- there was a guy underneath him at the time. When he picked up his 2nd personal with 5:30 remaining in the 2nd quarter, he was done for the first half. Matt and the whole Wolves squad then had a very forgettable 3rd stanza, as he went 0-6 from the field and 0-2 from the freebie line. Oak Park outscored CHS 6-5 in the period. He finished the night with 8 points 5 rebounds and 2 blocks and displayed a decent handle and good basketball IQ as he would oftentimes direct teammates to where they should be. Matt also was the designated passer on all Clarkston out-of-bounds plays. Teammates Brandon Pokley, a 6’4” senior with a deadly 3 point eye scored 20, while 6’5” senior SG Tom Staton finished with 12. Neither one of them has signed with a school, altho both should get D-1 looks, for sure.

After the game, I informed Coach Fife that Oak Park had outscored the Wolves 6-5 in the rather ugly 3rd quarter. He remarked “Gee if the #1 team in Michigan (Clarkston) played the #1 team in Ohio (Columbus Northland, presumably) we’d get our butts kicked” based on tonight’s showing. He apologized for his squad not giving a better performance. Coach Fife said that Matt hurt his knee recently and has struggled the last 4 or 5 games because of it. He said Matt is a little bit frustrated. When asked what Matt needs to work on to play at the next level he said “his outside shot.” I asked him about Brandon Pokley and Tom Staton and why they had not signed with any schools as of yet. He said they are both getting looks and in fact Staton will be visiting SMU and is hearing from Loyola-Chicago and Coach Fife anticipates that both schools will offer. Staton has the size and skills to compete at the mid-high D-1 level; Pokley may be more of a low D-1 or D-2 player.

When I spoke to Matt, I asked him what position he envisions himself playing in college and he said “the 3 for sure.” I told him that Coach Fife had mentioned that he needs to work on his outside shooting and he said he has been. When asked what schools he is hearing from the most he replied “Dayton, Western Michigan (offer) and IUP-Ft. Wayne (offer) and a little bit from Michigan.” He doesn’t have any idea when he will be making a decision. Matt enjoyed his visit to UD Arena over the holidays and said it was “loud.” He played for the Michigan Mustangs AAU program towards the end of last summer and plans to run with them again this year.

Will Matt Kamieniecki end up a Flyer? We’ll see. But the foundation for what could be a very good basketball player is there. Should he grow to 6’9” or 6’10” he could be a force. We’ll keep you posted on Matt’s progress.

That’s it “From the Swamp.”
You can email me at: swampy@udpride.com
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  #1  
By The Fat Tuna on 02-27-2009, 07:39 AM
Actually, Dane was Mr. Basketball in Michigan and ended up going to Indiana to play hoops and had a pretty good run there. His older brother Dugan Fife played at Michigan and was primarily a role player.
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  #2  
By Swampy Meadows on 02-27-2009, 08:14 AM
You are correct..."oldtimers moment."

Duly edited.
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  #3  
By Swampy Meadows on 02-27-2009, 03:15 PM
It looks like K'allante Miller from Oak Park did more than just get kicked off the team:

http://blog.mlive.com/highschoolbask...y_opening.html

That's just sad, man.
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  #4  
By Swampy Meadows on 02-27-2009, 07:53 PM
I wanted to post these here as well as on the MB: video highlights of the Clarkston/Oak Park game. Matt K is #2; Brandon Pokley is #21 and Tom Staton is #14.

And I am the "guy from Ohio" that Coach Fife is talking about.

Matt's dunk makes POG at the very end.

Linky goodness:

http://www.theoaklandpress.com/artic...6027996069.tnv
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  #5  
By Swampy Meadows on 03-04-2009, 09:48 AM
Matt and Clarkston lost their 1st game to West Boo Foo.

Detroit News coverage includes a great picture of Matt banging with their big guys:

http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll...903040375/1049
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