Robert Cross 8th Grader Receives Collegiate Offer

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Published: Jan. 30, 2023 at 1:00 AM EST
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - It’s not often that an eight grade girl receives a collegiate offer, but KJ Acree has done just that.

Dynamic, leader and hard working are just a few words to describe KJ Acree.

Acree is an 8th grader at Robert Cross Magnet Middle School who earned her first D1 offer from one of the top women’s basketball programs in the Country: the University of South Carolina.

She was the first in the 2027 class to receive an offer from Dawn Staley, the head coach of the defending national champions.

“I went to a camp. It was like four of my other teammates there. My mom was over there by Dawn Staley and she was like what would you do if I like offered all of you right now? We were all 8th graders then. Well 7th graders in the summer so we were all 7th graders. We all just like crying. It was just amazing. It was an amazing experience,” Acree said.

The standout wing has been around basketball since she was a little girl. She began playing the game when she was just four years old. Her mom is the Varsity girls basketball Coach at Monroe Comprehensive High School. She says her mom is a big part of her why.

“I kind of just sometimes want to be like my mom and be better than my mom, so she’s like my inspiration.”

The young star received the offer this past summer while playing AAU basketball with FBC United. Now she is in the thick of her middle school season where she is averaging 20 plus points a game. Her coach is amazed at how much she’s grown.

“When she was younger you know I actually played for her mom when I was in high school. I got to know KJ when she was maybe this big. From seeing her in the gym I used to pick on her. I used to guard her from time to time, and to see her now she’s bigger than me. She’s up there and bout can play a little better than me now,” said Coach Erica Hayes.

Acree says getting the offer was exciting but the work isn’t done yet. She’s going to continue to work hard, and her hard work hasn’t gone unnoticed. Since receiving the offer from South Carolina, Acree has earned offers from Florida State, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Alabama.