Florida State received an early Christmas present Friday afternoon when junior college transfer Derwin Kitchen was cleared to join the men's basketball team. Kitchen, who is now eligible, is expected to travel with the team and likely play against Georgia State on Saturday.
Kitchen, who earned Junior College All-America first-team honors at Iowa Western Community College last season, averaged 14.0 points, 6.1 rebounds and 3.3 assists in leading the Reivers to a No. 11 ranking in the final national junior college rankings in 2008.
The 6-foot-4, 180-pound guard is expected to help in the backcourt playing at both the point and two-guard spots.
"We are very excited about Derwin and his future as a Seminole basketball player," said head coach Leonard Hamilton upon signing him this past May. "His size and athletic ability will allow him to fit in with the players on our team and with the recruits we will have joining our team for the upcoming season. His skills will be a tremendous compliment to the players on our roster. He will help make his teammates better and his new teammates will help make him a better player during his career as a Seminole."
Prior to going the junior college route, Kitchen was an All-State first-team selection and the runner-up for the Mr. Basketball award as a senior at Raines High School in Jacksonville, Fla. He earned All-State first-team honors three times during his high school career, averaging 20.0 points, 9.0 rebounds and 5.0 steals per game as a senior and graduated from Raines after leading them to state championship in both 2003 and 2004.
Kitchen was named as the Jacksonville Player of the Year in 2004 and 2005, was a four-time all-city and all-conference selection and was selected as the First Coast Player of the Year in 2004 and 2005.
Kitchen was rated as the 57th best overall player and the 22nd best shooting guard in the 2005 high school class by Rivals.com. He closed his prep career as Raines' all-time leader in points, steals and assists.
Florida State is 8-1 on the season entering Saturday's game.