Meridian Star

Sports

May 31, 2014

Pollard signs with Houston

HOUSTON — Former McDonald's All-American Devonta Pollard joined the University of Houston men's basketball program with his recent signing of a National Letter of Intent, head coach Kelvin Sampson announced Friday morning.

Pollard, who measures 6-foot-8 and 215 pounds, will compete as a junior with the Cougars in 2014-15 and will have two years of eligibility remaining.

"Devonta is a great athlete whose abilities will be enhanced by playing in our system," said Houston first-year head coach Kelvin Sampson. "We are going to be a very up-tempo team, and that's tailor-made made for the way that Devonta plays. His strengths as a basketball player fit in well in how we want to play."

Pollard joins Houston out of East Mississippi Community College, where he played for head coach Mark White. In 2013-14, Pollard averaged 12.0 points and a team-high 6.4 rebounds to lead the Lions to a 20-7 overall record and 8-3 mark in league play.

The Porterville native posted a pair of double-doubles, including 16 points and 10 rebounds, in a win against Mississippi Delta. He reached double-digit points in 16 games and scored a season-high 20 points on 6-of-8 shooting from the field and 8-of-10 shooting from the free throw line against Itawamba.

Pollard signed with Alabama out of Kemper County High and competed with the Crimson Tide during the 2012-13 season. That season, he led the Tide with 16 dunks and posted 13 points with eight rebounds against VCU.

Before joining Alabama, Pollard was an award-winning prep star. He was ranked a 5-star prospect by Rivals.com and was listed as the seventh-best small forward in his class. He received Mississippi's 2012 Mr. Basketball title and was named the Gatorade State Player of the Year and the Most Valuable Player of the Alabama/Mississippi All-Star Game.

Pollard becomes the seventh newcomer to join the Cougars for the 2014-15 season. That list includes sophomore forward Egi Gjikondi (San Jacinto JC), junior guards Chuck Baker (Lee JC), Eric Weary, Jr. (Howard JC) and Torian Graham (Chipola JC) and freshman forward J.C. Washington (Yates High).

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