Men’s basketball: William & Mary adds two to signing class


William & Mary men’s basketball head coach Tony Shaver announced the signing of 6-9 forward Nathan Knight (Syracuse, N.Y./ Nottingham/Kimball Union Academy) and 6-6 guard/forward Justin Pierce (Glen Ellyn, Ill./Glenbard West) to National Letters of Intent on Wednesday. Knight and Pierce will be eligible to compete for the Green and Gold in the fall of 2016.

“It is an exciting day for Tribe basketball, as we officially add two very talented student-athletes, Justin Pierce and Nathan Knight, to our W&M family,” Shaver said. “Both young men are exceptional fits for our basketball program both on and off the court. They will provide us with a high degree of talent, skill level and versatility, along with the intangibles that have characterized our teams over the years. Justin and Nathan are highly regarded, and have competed and excelled against some of the nation’s best competition in AAU and high school basketball. They are both outstanding young men, and we are thrilled that they have chosen to continue their academic and basketball careers at William & Mary.”

Here is a look at the Tribe’s 2016 Signing Class:

Nathan Knight
6-9 255
Syracuse, N.Y./ Nottingham/Kimball Union Academy

Averaged 14.1 points, 14 rebounds and three blocked shots per game, shooting 63.2 percent from the field as a senior at Nottingham … Earned All-Central New York honors and named New York All-State by the New York State Sportswriters Association in 2014-15 … Tallied a career-high 23 rebounds vs. Rochester East on Dec. 29, 2014 … Produced 10 doubles-doubles as a senior, including 23 points and 14 rebounds vs. Edison on Dec. 20, 2014 … Averaged 9.4 points per game as a junior … Possesses a 7-foot wingspan … Rated the 77th best power forward in the class of 2016 and the 13th-best player in the state of New York by … Chose W&M from more than 30 Division I scholarship offers, including offers from Murray State, Northeastern, James Madison, Duquesne, Stony Brook, George Mason and Temple … Played AAU for the DC Blue Devils, out of New Hampshire, coached by former George Washington guard TJ Thompson … Helped the Blue Devils in the summer of 2015 to a championship at the Hoop Group Tip-Off, a second place finish at the Hoop Group Summer JamFest and a spot in the Elite 8 of AAU U17 nationals in Kentucky … Will spend the 2015-16 season in prep school at Kimball Union Academy, which plays in the New England Prep School Athletic Conference, for head coach Mike Olson … Kimball Union is the same prep school that produced Tribe sophomore Oliver Tot … Son of Joslyn Knight.

Head Coach Tony Shaver on Knight …
“Nathan is terrific, and he will add a unique blend of size, power, skill and agility to our team. He impacts the game on both ends of the floor with his rebounding ability and wing span, along with possessing great “feel” and basketball IQ that enables him to make plays all over the floor. Nathan is as comfortable scoring the ball inside as he is facing the basket or shooting jumpers on the perimeter. He had a breakout summer in AAU with the DC (NH) Blue Devils coached by TJ Thompson, where he emerged as one of the best players in all of New England. He will continue to develop this season at Kimball Union Academy under the guidance of Coach Mike Olson. Nathan has a very bright future ahead of him at W&M!”

Justin Pierce
6-6 205
Glen Ellyn, Ill./ Glenbard West

Ranked ninth in Illinois in the class of 2016 by Prep Hoops Illinois and the No. 3 shooting guard in the state … Averaged 17.4 points, six rebounds and three assists per game, knocking down 42 3-pointers as a junior … Garnered honorable mention Illinois All-State honors in 2015 … Shot 48 percent from the field and 75 percent from the free throw line in 2014-15 … On pace to become Glenbard West’s all-time leading scorer … Holds the Glenbard West school record for 3-pointers made in a season and in a career … Averaged 12 points per game in 2014 as a sophomore … A two-time DuPage County All-Area and a two-time all-conference selection … Played AAU for Mercury Elite … Averaged 20 points and 12 rebounds at the NY2LA Next Level Invitational outside Milwaukee in July 2015 … Over the summer, ranked as one of the top three summer stock risers by the Chicago Sun Times Joe Henricksen … Ranked as one of the top five wings in the Midwest over the summer by NY2LA … Chose W&M from a group of 14 offers, including Toledo, Belmont and Boston University … A versatile wing, who is an elite 3-point shooter with a high basketball IQ, terrific vision and feel for the game … Owns a 4.9 grade point average (out of 5.0 scale) in high school … Son of Greg and Stephanie Pierce.

Head Coach Tony Shaver on Pierce …
“Justin is very talented, and brings a multi-dimensional skill set to our program. He is a tremendous shooter, but impacts the game in a variety of ways – scoring off the dribble, playing in transition, and rebounding the ball with great length and athleticism. He possesses a high basketball IQ, and his ability to pass the ball and make good decisions is an ideal fit for our offense. Justin had a huge summer in AAU with Mercury Elite, and he has blossomed into one of the best players in the state of Illinois while being coached by Tim Hoder at Glenbard West High School. I am extremely excited about his future in a Tribe uniform!”

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