Aiken dunk

Eastern Washington junior Kim Aiken Jr. dunks in the first half of the Big Sky Conference championship game March 13 in Boise.

Four months after helping Eastern Washington take Arizona to the brink, Kim Aiken Jr. is joining the Wildcats.

The Big Sky Conference Defensive Player of the Year will transfer to the Pac-12 power, according to Keith Howard, Aiken’s AAU coach in California.

Aiken, a versatile 6-foot-7 junior, entered the NCAA transfer portal last week, joining EWU teammates Michael Meadows, Tyler Robertson, brothers Jacob and Tanner Groves and Jacob Davison following the departure of head coach Shantay Legans.

Legans, who recently led EWU to the NCAA Tournament, accepted the same job at the University of Portland last month.

Aiken, a three-year starter, made an immediate impact in Cheney, making the All-Big Sky Tournament team as a freshman before garnering All-Big Sky honors as a sophomore and junior.

EWU’s defensive stopper averaged 10.3 points and 7.6 rebounds in three seasons and was also among the Eagles’ top outside shooters.

Aiken was held to six points and five rebounds in a 70-67 loss to Wildcats in December in Tucson, Arizona.

Davison, a two-time All-Big Sky Conference guard who saw his role shrink last season, has transferred to Cal Poly, the senior announced on social media.

The spring-heeled California product averaged roughly 17 points during sophomore and junior years, but came off the bench midway through his senior season.

Cal Poly, a member of the Big West Conference, finished 4-20 last season.

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the 2020-21 sports year doesn’t count against an athlete’s years of eligibility.

Meadows and Robertson – also key players in EWU’s recent Big Sky title runs – announced on Twitter that they will be following Legans to Portland. Tanner Groves, the Big Sky Conference’s Most Valuable Player, recently announced the several schools recruiting him, including Texas, Virginia and Arkansas.

Ryan Collingwood can be reached at (208) 676-6576 or at ryanc@spokesman.com