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Senior Tribute: Kenny Kadji

With Senior Day being on Saturday, we will take a few moments to honor each of our five graduating seniors. Today we have #35 Kenny Kadji.

Grant Halverson

I'm going to start this off with a little personal story. Coming out of high school, I always wanted to work in anything that had to deal with sports or the business side of it. In the summer after graduation, I started to write in a personal blog that I had started. I enjoyed it so much that I began contributing on other blogs as well as mine. Everything was going good, but I always had the desire to write about the 'Canes. I was a fan of the website and I decided to email the site for a spot on the staff.

At first, I thought I had no chance of contributing for SOTU due to my low self-esteem and I frankly did not think I was good enough, but all I wanted to do was write about the school that I grew up loving, the University of Miami. After a week, I finally got an email saying that I can help out the basketball staff and contribute for on the blog. I was pretty damn excited, but little did I know that day that this Hurricanes Hoops team was going to have a season for the ages. In fact, our own Isaac Koppel and I had a nice winning streak going at one point this season.

I decided to start off this article with that story because I feel like I unexpectedly landed on this staff, kind of how Kenny Kadji became a Hurricane.

Kenny Kadji was a four-star recruit coming out of high school and Florida head coach, Billy Donovan jumped all over him. He offered Kadji a scholarship and he [Kadji] quickly committed. Kadji had an up-and-down stint with the Gators in his two years there. In 2009, he injured his back and was forced to miss the rest of the season after playing in just eight games during his sophomore season. He [Kadji] felt he could give more than what he was asked to do for Florida, so he decided to transfer after that season.

What made Kenny Kadji transfer to Miami?

It was difficult at first, but then I think it was the best thing for me. I started my career at Florida, but then I decided to transfer. I decided to come to the University of Miami because they were recruiting me out of high school already and my brother actually came to school here and is still in school, so I was going to stay close to the family. So I came here with Coach Haith and had a good relationship with Coach Hait, but he left and then Coach L came. I think we just did a good job of understanding each other and building a relationship and now it's great. I'm thankful and blessed to have Coach L and this coaching staff here.

In his first season with the 'Canes, Kadji nearly doubled all of the stats he had compiled at Florida. He averaged 11.7 points and 5.3 rebounds per game.

This season has been filled with unbelievable memories for the 'Canes. Who can forget the game winning shot against Clemson and the throbbing of No. 1 Duke, in which Kadji contributed with 22 points and 6 rebounds during that first meeting against the Blue Devils. But no, that's not the only awesome thing Kadji has done this season against Duke. (via ACCDigitalNetwork)

Ryan Kelly killed us that night, but at least Kadji was able to put him on a nice poster.

Kenny has developed into one heck of a player here at UM and in just two seasons sporting the Hurricanes name across his chest, he has a great deal of passion for the school and the program.

Check out what being a Miami Hurricane means to #35:

It means everything. It's something that I can't explain. You feel it in your blood. Its something that's yours forever and you could say for the rest of your life that you are a Miami Hurricane and graduated from the University of Miami. It's definitely not something that you feel everywhere you go. The way I've been welcomed here, people are really appreciating me and understand who I am and what my character is. People have really welcomed me with open arms. I've been blessed to be here.

We've been blessed to have a player and a person like Kenny Kadji at The U. He's been great both on and off the court and it's been a privilege to watch him play. We still have a few weeks left of Kadji and the rest of the 'Cane seniors, let's not take it for granted. This group has been extremely special.

Here are some extra facts about Kadji that you might not know.

He was born on May 19, 1988 and is Majoring in sociology with a minor in business administration.

Finally, lets enjoy the awesome off the glass alley-oop play from earlier this season. (viaACCDigitalNetwork)

Be sure to also keep an eye out for more Senior tributes from The State of the U as we count down to Senior day.