College Sports in the Carolinas
from the East
Thursday, May 2, 2002
By Al Myatt
ECU Beat Writer for The News & Observer
Holcombe-Faye paved way for early Foster
Herrion gets jump-start on
Four days after getting the last signature on a scholarship to complete
the incoming recruiting class, East Carolina men’s basketball coach Bill
Herrion has apparently gotten his first commitment for next year’s class
from 6-foot-8 junior Keith Foster of Winston-Salem Reynolds.
Foster averaged 13 points, eight rebounds and three blocked shots during
his junior season as the Demons won their third straight NCHSAA 4-A
The Reynolds program produced rising ECU senior point guard Travis
Holcombe-Faye. That was an important connection for the Pirates in terms of
attracting Foster, according to Reynolds coach Howard West.
Holcombe-Faye’s younger brother, Whit, finished at Reynolds this season
and has signed with Radford.
“Keith is good friends with Travis and Whit,” West said. “He’s been to
Greenville to see Travis play and he liked the campus. He met Coach Herrion
and was comfortable with him.”
Foster’s numbers aren’t overwhelming but he plays on a very talented
team. He might average more points if he was the go-to guy on a
less-talented team. The Demons’ array includes 6-foot-7 Reyshawn Terry, who
has offers from N.C. State, Clemson, Wake Forest and Tennessee. Maryland,
North Carolina, Virginia and Connecticut are also expected to figure in the
Reynolds forwards Eddie Green and Justin Bohlander are also getting
national recruiting attention.
With Foster ostensibly in the bag, Herrion is expected to have two
additional scholarships to offer next season. Brahin Howard, a frontcourt
reserve last year, is not expected to return because of academic issues.
The Pirates are known to be interested in point guards Jeremy Ingram of
Kinston and Casey Long of Fayetteville Seventy-First, who are both currently
“We’ll probably take a frontcourt player, a point guard and then the best
available player,” Herrion said of his plans for next year’s scholarship
Foster appears to be the frontcourt guy.
juggernaut going national
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Reynolds should contend for an unprecedented fourth straight 4-A state
title next year. West has lined up a challenging schedule that should give
his club a chance to develop competitively against some of the best teams in
The Demons will play in a Texas tournament in December that will include
powerhouse Oak Hill Academy of Mouth of Wilson, VA. Los Angeles
Westchester, New York Rice, St. Patrick’s of Elizabeth, NJ, Memphis
Washington, Houston Westbury Christian and Seattle Rainier Beach will also
be in the field.
Reynolds also has berths in the Dell Curry Invitational in Charlotte and
the Primetime Shootout in New Jersey, where it will meet Jersey City St.
Anthony, the program that produced former Duke star Bobby Hurley.
West has also contracted for a game to be played at the Smith Center in
Chapel Hill against the Akron (OH) St. Vincent-St. Mary’s team that is
expected to feature rising senior superstar LeBron James, 6-7. James might
not be available, though, because he reportedly has been offered $9 million
to play overseas in Italy, a move that would circumvent the NBA’s policy on
taking high school underclassmen.
A shoe company is reportedly the source of the overseas hoops offer.
James has been projected as a talent the magnitude of Kobe Bryant of the Los
Angeles Lakers. The shoe companies are obviously anxious to get him under
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One problem with the promise the Pirates showed in winning five
Conference USA games last season is that some teams are no longer interested
in playing ECU.
Herrion is friends with Wake Forest coach Skip Prosser which caused some
speculation that it would lead to a game between Wake and the Pirates. That
apparently won’t be happening.
UNC-Greensboro and Appalachian State are also reluctant to continue
playing ECU although each managed homecourt wins over the Pirates before
Gabriel Mikulas and Moussa Badiane joined the team.
Incidentally, the NCAA is examining the rule against amateur
participation in foreign pro leagues that resulted in sanctions against
Mikulas and Badiane last season. The situation internationally is that there
are often no competitive situations for young players to develop overseas if
not for the leagues in which some players receive payment. Foreign countries
often lack the scholastic or AAU competitive options available to players in
the United States.
Virginia Tech will play in Greenville next season and there is the
possibility of an ECU game with Campbell in Fayetteville. One wonders if the
Pirates will schedule College of Charleston where Herrion’s brother, Tom,
was recently named head coach.
There is more off-season interest in ECU basketball than I can ever
recall. Fans are following recruiting, anticipating a more competitive
presence in C-USA and talking about when the Pirates will make the NCAA
Grainger Stadium is ready
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The City of Kinston has done a $1.5 million renovation on Grainger
Stadium since ECU hosted Tennessee in a baseball super regional last season.
The improvements involve replacement of the grandstand seating, which should
make for a comfortable setting when the Pirates host the C-USA Tournament on
May 21-26 at the home of the Kinston Indians.
More improvements are being negotiated by the stadium's home tenant, the
Kinston Indians. The City's lease with the Class A affiliate of the
Cleveland Indians expires after this season.
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02/23/2007 12:58:58 AM