Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Men's Hoops: Black Bears announce new recruits

University of Maine men's basketball head coach Ted Woodward has announced the signings of Justin Edwards and Zarko Valjarevic to National Letters of Intent to attend the University of Maine in the fall and play for the men's basketball team.

Edwards, a 6-2 guard from Whitby, Ontario, is the #8-ranked player overall in Canada for the class of 2011. He averaged 20.4 points, 5.7 assists, 4.4 rebounds and 3.5 steals per game during his high school career. Edwards scored more than 3,400 points during his tenure at Anderson Collegiate Vocational Institute and led the team to five Lake Ontario Secondary Athletic Association championships and an Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations championship. He was named team MVP four times as well as his school's Athlete of the Year.

"Justin is an explosive versatile perimeter player that scores in a variety of ways," said Woodward. "He is a great athlete and an explosive force on the perimeter. He has had an outstanding high school career and will be a wonderful addition to our team".

Valjarevic, a 6-4 guard-forward from Serbia, played one season for powerhouse Notre Dame Prep in Fitchburg, Mass., which had eight players sign with Division I schools. He helped lead the team to the semi-finals of the National Prep Championship. Valjarevic is rated a solid mid-major prospect by ESPN with a score of 84.

"Zarko is a great perimeter shooter from the wing positions. He understands the game, is extremely smart using screens, can put the ball on the floor and understands how to make his teammates better. He is a very smart, skilled player that will have an immediate impact on our roster."

Edwards and Valjarevic join a recruiting class that includes Killian Cato (6-8 forward from Finland), Xavier Pollard (6-2 guard from Winchendon Prep in Mass.) and Noam Laish (6-1 guard from Israel).

"We are very excited about the new members of our basketball program. I'd like to thank my staff for all of their hard work securing a class that addresses some immediate needs on our team, continues to provide impact talent at multiple positions, and helps put our team's future on very solid foundation. All of our recruits have a high knowledge of the game, are very skilled and versatile, and are great people as well. We are very excited about what each brings to our team."

The eligibility of all student-athletes is contingent upon admission to the University of Maine and compliance with all NCAA rules, including registration with the NCAA Clearinghouse.

-via Black Bears press release



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