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East Carolina lands two 2014 verbal commitments

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It’s safe to say that this weekend was a productive one for East Carolina head coach Jeff Lebo.

This weekend the ECU head coach had two 2014 prospects on campus for official visits, and by Sunday Lebo had two verbal commitments as point guard Lance Tejada Jr. and forward Grant Bryant have both pledged to attend the school. Tejada and Bryant become ECU’s second and third commitments in the class, joining point guard B.J. Tyson.

https://twitter.com/GrantMBryant/status/374245287734554624

Bryant, a 6-7 forward from Marietta, Ga., averaged 19.1 points and 12.5 rebounds per game at Kell High School last season. His best outing came in a 94-93 overtime win over Osborne High School on January 9, as Bryant tallied an astonishing 50 points and 35 rebounds. As for Tejada, the Hollywood, Fla. product currently attends Blanche Ely High School where he averaged 11.9 points and 8.2 assists per game on a team that finished the 2012-13 season with a 27-2 record.

ECU adds four newcomers this season with one (guard Antonio Robinson) being a junior college transfer. Adding Tejada and Bryant to the fold gives the Pirates some much needed depth at both the point and in the front court.

Currently ECU has two players at the point: Robinson and senior Akeem Richmond, whose three-pointer as time expired gave the Pirates a 77-74 win over Weber State in the CollegeInsider.com tournament title game. With Richmond being out of eligibility after the 2013-14 campaign ECU needed to strengthen their numbers at the point, and receiving verbal commitments from Tejada and Tyson has done that.

As for the front court, ECU enters the 2013-14 season with just four options: freshman small forward Brandan Stith, sophomore power forwards Marshall Guilmette and Michael Zangari and senior Ty Armstrong. Armstrong (9.3 ppg, 4.5 rpg) and Guilmette (4.0, 2.3) had roles in the rotation last season with Armstrong, who began his career at Auburn, starting all 35 games for ECU. With their low numbers inside it was clear that ECU needed to experience some recruiting success in this area, and landing a commitment from Bryant is certainly a step in the right direction.

ECU has one more season in Conference USA before moving to the American Athletic Conference, and while that league does have some traditional powers to build around (UConn, Cincinnati, Memphis and Temple) every program will need to pull its weight if the conference is to be respected nationally. With this weekend’s developments, the Pirates have improved their chances of doing so.

VIDEO: Arizona commit Terrance Ferguson throws down under-the-legs dunk after making 3-pointer

"CHARLOTTE, NC - JULY 9: Terrance Ferguson during the 2015 Under Armour All-America Basketball Camp on July 9, 2015 at Queens College in Charlotte, NC. (Photo by Ned Dishman/Under Armour)"
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Arizona commit Terrance Ferguson has been known as one of the best dunkers in the country for the last few years. So you knew the 6-foot-6 wing was going to attempt the latest internet dunk craze that’s been going around.

Some call it the, “5-point play” in which the dunker makes a 3-pointer and immediately sprints following the shot release to catch the make for an under-the-legs dunk.

It’s as tough as it sounds and Ferguson makes it look easy.

VIDEO: Manute Bol’s 6’11” son Bol Bol throws down in-game under-the-legs dunk

McPherson's Jacob Loecker attempts to steal the ball form Shawnee Mission-Bishop Miege's Bol Bol during the first quarter of the boys' Class 4A Division I state championship basketball game Saturday, March 12, 2016, in Salina, Kan. (Travis Morrise/The Hutchinson News via AP)
(Travis Morrise/The Hutchinson News via AP)
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Bol Bol is the son of former NBA center Manute Bol, and the younger Bol is earning quite a bit of attention himself as a five-star prospect in the Class of 2018.

The 6-foot-11 Bol showed off some of his freakish coordination and athleticism on Friday night, by ripping a steal and taking it coast-to-coast for an under-the-legs dunk in the middle of a game at the Jayhawk Invitational.

Bol will be one of the players to watch this spring as he plays with KC Run GMC.

Iowa State guard Naz Mitrou-Long gets hardship waiver to play additional year

Iowa State guard Nazareth Mitrou-Long defends Buffalo guard Jarryn Skeete during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Monday, Dec. 7, 2015, in Ames, Iowa. Iowa State won 84-63. (AP Photo/Justin Hayworth)
(AP Photo/Justin Hayworth)
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Iowa State got a boost to its roster for next season as senior guard Naz Mitrou-Long has been granted a hardship waiver by the Big 12 conference.

“Everything happens for a reason and although it hurt to not be able to play for a group of guys I loved last year, my body needed time to recover and that time off allowed me to feel the best I’ve felt since my freshman year,” Mitrou-Long said in the release. “I’m glad I’ll be able to play for the best fans in the country and represent the name on the front of my jersey, Iowa State, one more year. Words can’t describe this feeling. Cyclone Nation, be ready for a special year.”

The 6-foot-4 Long played in eight games last season for Iowa State as he averaged 12 points per game. He missed the rest of the season to deal with pain in his surgically repaired hips. Mitrou-Long has been a very effective three-point shooter during his career at Iowa State and he should be a nice option to have for next season if he’s healthy.

CIAA will stay in North Carolina despite state’s LGBT law

Protesters rally against House Bill 2 in Raleigh, N.C.,  Monday, April 25, 2016. While demonstrations circled North Carolina's statehouse on Monday, for and against a Republican-backed law curtailing protections for LGBT people and limiting public bathroom access for transgender people, House Democrats filed a repeal bill that stands little chance of passing. (Chuck Liddy/The News & Observer via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT
(Chuck Liddy/The News & Observer via AP)
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association says it won’t move its headquarters, its basketball tournament or other conference championships from North Carolina, despite the state’s controversial new LGBT law.

The CIAA said in a statement Thursday that it will instead partner with the NCAA to educate its members on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues as it does on other issues, like graduation rates and concussion management.

The Charlotte Observer reports that the CIAA, the oldest African-American sports conference in the U.S., has hosted its annual basketball tournament in Charlotte since 2006 and announced it was moving its headquarters to Charlotte from Virginia in 2015.

The CIAA said Thursday that it will continue to “monitor the issues,” as it has since House Bill 2 passed.

 

VIDEOS: Stephen Curry personally invites athletes to his select camp

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry, left, holds the championship trophy and Andre Iguodala holds the series MVP trophy as they celebrate winning the NBA Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers in Cleveland, Wednesday, June 17, 2015. The Warriors defeated the Cavaliers 105-97 to win the best-of-seven game series 4-2. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
(AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
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As he did last year, the NBA’s MVP is sending out personal invites to Under Armour’s SC30 Select Camp for some of the best high school and college point guards in the country.

It’s a pretty cool thing for the kids. Can you imagine how you would feel as a high school junior getting a personalized invitation to a camp from Stephen Curry himself?