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November 9, 2013

College Basketball: Three area greats ready to make names for themselves

Three area greats primed to capture nation's attention

(Continued)

Leadership has always been a forte. He was even class president at Tilton, making him “The President” while Hoiberg, since his playing days at ISU, has been called “The Mayor.”

A major focus of the offseason was improving his fitness.

“I got into better shape so I won’t get into foul trouble,” he said. “I lost 10 pounds (he’s now 6-7, 238) and two percent body fat. I’m better, for sure. That comes from being in better shape and working on my game.”

Hoiberg said at Big 12 Media Day, “Georges is a lot tighter. He came in with some baby fat and he wasn’t able to play prolonged stretches (he averaged 25.1 minutes) like we would have liked.”

Hoiberg loves the 1-2 punch with Niang and the 6-6, 220-pound rebounding machine Ejim, a preseason All-Big 12 pick.

“We have two great players coming back in the frontcourt,” he said. “Both have added elements to their game which will make them a difficult duo to guard especially when they can pull a big player away from the basket. Georges and Melvin can also get us into the offense, which is a great luxury to have.”

Big-time Basketball recruits

Only five area natives have ever signed big-time basketball scholarships out of high school.

Name Town School College

Jim Lewis Lawrence Central Catholic ‘51 Holy Cross

Ted Kelley Andover Andover High ‘82 Boston College

Carson Desrosiers Windham Central Catholic ‘10 Wake Forest/Providence

Georges Niang Methuen Tilton ‘12 Iowa State

Noah Vonleh Haverhill Haverhill/New Hampton ‘13 Indiana

Note: Central’s Scott Hazelton (Somerville/UConn), Methuen’s Gary McLain (New York City/Villanova), Brooks’ Harold Starks (New York City/Providence) and Phillips’ Titus Ivory (Charlotte, N.C./Penn State) signed with big-time schools but weren’t from the area.

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