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Updated: 10:44 p.m. Thursday, April 17, 2014 | Posted: 8:45 a.m. Thursday, April 17, 2014

Hunter glad to have Kevin Ware at GSU

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Kevin Ware
Andy Lyons / Getty Images
Kevin Ware was a key member of the Louisville team that won the national championship at the Georgia Dome in 2013.

By Doug Roberson

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Georgia State men’s basketball coach Ron Hunter didn’t sugarcoat the impact of adding Kevin Ware to his team.

“Kevin Ware is a huge addition to our program next year,” he said.

Ware announced last week that he was transferring from Louisville to Georgia State so that he could be closer to his family, which lives in Conyers.

Hunter wasn’t allowed to talk about Ware until he applied to school. Ware’s application was received Wednesday.

Ware, a 6-foot-2 guard, played at Rockdale County High before signing with Louisville, where he averaged 3.1 points per game.

He was a key member of the 2012-13 team that won the national championship at the Georgia Dome. He sustained a broken right leg during that tournament. He returned this season, playing in nine games before choosing to sit out the rest of the season and recently was given a clean bill of health by his doctors.

Hunter confirmed that Ware plans to apply to the NCAA requesting immediate eligibility. Hunter couldn’t go into all of the details of the petition because he said they are personal to Ware.

“What he’s gone through has been a tremendous deal,” Hunter said. “He needs to be home with his family. I’m glad he chose us, but at the end of the day, he needs to be back home to be with his family.”

Hunter said Ryan Harrow will play point guard next season. Assuming Ware is cleared to play by the NCAA, he will be the combination guard with lockdown skills in Hunter’s matchup zone defenses. Ware had 39 steals in 2012-13. Hunter said Ware is like Devonta White, but with longer arms.

“If you look back a year ago, when they had that championship team, what he did defensively is almost identical to what he do,” Hunter said. “He scores off defense and is unbelievable in transition. He will make our defense so much better.”

Hunter believes Ware will become a better jump-shooter because of the broken leg. In his experience, Hunter said when players sustain an injury they work on other things. Hunter said Ware likely will work on his jump shot. He made 41.7 percent of his shots at Louisville, including 34.1 percent of his 3-point attempts.

Yellow Jackets sign forward: A late surge brought Georgia Tech another freshman signee. Senegalese power forward Abdoulaye Gueye signed a letter of intent with Tech on Thursday. Gueye, rated a three-star prospect by Rivals and the No. 7 player in Alabama by 247 Sports, is an exchange student at Central Park Christian in Birmingham, Ala.

“He’s the new prototype power forward,” his coach Donovan Broadnax said. He called him long and athletic with shot-blocking and rebounding ability. “Just a tough all-around kid, always going, very high motor.”

Gueye, 6-foot-10 and 215 pounds, is Tech’s third signee for the incoming freshman class, following guard Tadric Jackson from Tifton and center Ben Lammers from San Antonio. Texas Tech, Mississippi State and Minnesota also recruited Gueye. Gueye is an exchange student from Senegal who went to the Birmingham school as a junior.

“I just want to play in the ACC, a great conference,” Gueye said. “I like the coach, and I like the campus.”

He said Tech coach Brian Gregory wants him to gain 25 pounds.

With the recent commitment of South Florida transfer Josh Heath, Tech has 12 players on scholarship for 2014-15, one shy of the maximum.

Bulldogs sign two: On Wednesday, Georgia signed two players to help in the frontcourt: Yante Maten of Bloomfield Hills, Mich., and Osahen Iduwe, a native of Benin City, Nigeria.

After his senior season at Bloomfield Hills High in suburban Detroit, Maten was named the Gatorade Player of the Year in Michigan. A 6-foot-8 forward, Maten averaged 19.8 points, 15.2 rebounds, 6.6 blocks and 4.8 assists as a senior, shooting 66 percent from the field. His team was 24-4 and played in the Class A state championship game.

“Yante is a very talented power forward with legitimate size and a very versatile game,” Georgia coach Mark Fox said. “He can score, pass, rebound and is just a terrific young man. He’s a winner both on and off the court.”

Iduwe, a 6-11 center, attends St. John’s Northwestern Military Academy in Delafield, Wis. He played one season there, averaging 8.8 points, 8.2 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game. Iduwe graduated in 2013 from Central Park Christian in Birmingham, where he averaged 8.5 points, 10.2 rebounds and 3.2 as a senior.

Staff writer Ken Sugiura contributed to this article.

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