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Blue Raiders ink junior college standout Hunter to NLI for 2012-13

6-7 forward led Northwest Florida to NJCAA title game

April 11, 2012 · Athletic Communications
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Middle Tennessee men’s basketball head coach Kermit Davis announced the signing of Neiko Hunter to a National Letter of Intent on Wednesday afternoon. Hunter will join the Blue Raiders as a junior for the 2012-13 campaign after an outstanding career at Northwest Florida State College.

"We’re extremely excited to have Neiko join our program," Davis said. "He’s been a huge priority of our recruiting all year long. He has multiple strengths playing as a hybrid four because he can make 3-pointers, he's a very skilled athletic rebounder and he's a great teammate. Neiko has been coached by one of the very best high school coaches in Alabama, Rodney Wesley, and a won state championship his senior year. He was also fortunate to play for one of the top junior college coaches at Northwest Florida, Steve Forbes. All he’s ever done is win under good, competitive coaches.”

Hunter led the NWF to an impressive 31-2 record last season and the NJCAA national championship final where the Raiders finished as runner-up. The Raiders won the Panhandle Conference title and the FCSAA state championship thanks in part to Hunter’s 15 points and eight rebounds per game.

“I feel really good about the decision to come to Middle Tennessee,” Hunter said. “I decided to go there because I felt comfortable with all the people - the team, the coaches. My family really liked the coaches, too. I’m not just coming in to play basketball, though, because I want to get my degree and make an impact on people while I’m at Middle Tennessee.”

In addition to his team’s success, Hunter’s individual performance was recognized with a spot on the all-conference first team playing for the league’s coach of the year, Steve Forbes.

“Neiko was a big part of our team’s success,” Forbes said. “He’s an outstanding scorer, plays with a lot of energy is a great rebounder and great teammate. The thing I appreciate about him the most is that he did what he had to do to help our team win, and I have no doubt he’ll do the same at Middle Tennessee. He’s a team player and a winner and we will miss him.”

The 6-7, 215-pound junior transfer attended Greene County High School in Eutaw, Ala. As a senior in 2009-10, Hunter led Greene County to the 3A state championship under head coach Rodney Wesley.

Hunter chose Middle Tennessee over Mississippi State, Southern Miss and Louisiana.

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