HPU Men’s Basketball: High Point Signs Three to NLIs

Posted by Press Release on April 19, 2019 at 6:22 pm under College | Comments are off for this article

HIGH POINT, N.C. — High Point University men’s basketball head coach Tubby Smith announced Friday (April 19) that Emmanuel Izunabor, Bryant Randleman and John Michael Wright have all signed National Letters of Intent to join the Panthers for the 2019-20 school year.

The trio joins Eric Coleman, a 6-8 forward from Buford, Ga., who signed an NLI in November.

“This is our first full recruiting class that we’ve had a chance to really evaluate and these young men give us a lot of what we haven’t had,” Smith said. “All three are from the state of North Carolina and we want to give young people in this state and locally the first opportunity. We’re about getting local and in-state talent and keeping them in North Carolina.”

Emmanuel Izunabor
6-9 Forward/Center
Fayetteville, N.C. (Fayetteville Academy)
• Helped lead Fayetteville Academy to North Carolina 2A independent school state title
• 20 points, 10 rebounds in state title game
• Moved to United States from Lagos, Nigeria at age 15 to pursue a college degree and play Division I college basketball

Coach Smith on Izunabor:
“Emmanuel and John Michael both won the state championship with Fayetteville Academy. He is a bruiser and a real physical 6-9 power player who rebounds extremely well. He has a nice touch with his jump shot. He’s a young man that is from Lagos, Nigeria, but he has been in North Carolina for some time, so we’re going to claim him as a North Carolinian!”

Bryant Randleman
6-4 Guard
Whitsett, N.C. (Durham Academy)
• Triangle Independent Schools Athletic Conference Player of the Year
• First-Team All-North Carolina

Coach Smith on Randleman:
“Bryant comes from an excellent program in Durham Academy who’s a lefty and is very versatile. He can play the point and shooting guard. He is long and athletic and is a young man who is an outstanding student. He led Durham Academy to the state semifinals and will make a difference for us.”

John Michael Wright
6-1 Combo Guard
Fayetteville, N.C. (Fayetteville Academy)
• Led Fayetteville Academy to North Carolina 2A independent school state title
• McDonald’s All-America nominee
• Conference player of the year and Cumberland County Player of the Year
• First-Team All-North Carolina

Coach Smith on Wright:
“John Michael is a combo-guard who is explosive at 6-1. He can really score the basketball and is one of the best scorers in North Carolina coming out of high school. He comes out of Fayetteville Academy, where he led his team to the state championship and he’ll have an immediate impact for us.”

Coach Smith on recruiting student-athletes who have won championships:
“Bringing in players that have won championships, they understand the sacrifices and commitment needed to win, and winning championships breeds winning championships. I think that’s huge to recruit players that have won titles.”


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