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VU Trailblazer Nigel Holley signs with East Tennessee State

Forward Nigel Holley became the third member of the 2014-15 Vincennes University Men’s Basketball Team to sign a national letter of intent when he inked with East Tennessee State University (ETSU).

Trailblazer sophomores A.J. Patty and Everett Clemons recently signed with Murray State and Indiana State, respectively.

Holley, a 6-8 product of New Hanover High School in Wilmington, NC, played in 33 of VU’s games (including two starts) in 2014-15 and became a valuable interior defensive presence who often also provided the Trailblazers (33-2) with an offensive spark off the bench.

Holley had 12 points on 6-of-7 shooting and five rebounds vs. Cochise in VU’s first round victory at the 2015 NJCAA Div. I Men’s Basketball National Championship Tournament. He had 10 points vs. John A. Logan during the regular season. Overall, Holley shot .511 from the floor and averaged 3.8 points and 3.4 rebounds per game. He also blocked 21 shots.

The Johnson City, TN-based ETSU emerged from a group of about 10 programs that recruited Holley. Holley said ETSU seems like a perfect fit in terms of academics, athletics, location and quality of life.

“When I talked with everyone (at ETSU) and went there, it seemed like a great fit,” he said. “I found out that there’s a great atmosphere, the campus is really nice, it’s good for me sizewise and the people in that town are really into (the school) – especially basketball.”

As for the Buccaneer program, Holley said he related to the style of play that Coach Steve Forbes appears ready to incorporate during his first season in Johnson City. He added that ETSU features a “quick” moving offense with lots of movement.

In addition to the basketball program and the opportunity to continue his education (most likely in business or sports medicine) with a goal of graduating in four years, Holley said the eastern Tennessee location cuts travel time for his mother in half if she makes a trip to see him play. The ETSU campus is about six hours from his hometown.

ETSU was 16-14 (8-10 in Southern Conference play) last season. Forbes, the former head coach at NJCAA-member Northwest Florida State, was named as the Buccaneers’ head man last month after ETSU lost, 67-61, in overtime to Western Carolina in the Southern Conference Tournament.

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