Husker Men's Basketball Team Signs Five to National Letters-of-Intent

By: Courtesy: NU Media Relations
By: Courtesy: NU Media Relations

University of Nebraska basketball coach Doc Sadler announced
Friday that five student-athletes have signed National Letters-of-Intent to play basketball at the University of Nebraska. The class includes junior college transfers Fahro Alihodzic (Vlasenica, Bosnia), Keith Coleman (Philadelphia, Pa.) and Jerran Young (Cedar Hill, Texas) as well as high school seniors Benny Parker (Kansas City, Kan.) and Shavon Shields (Olathe, Kan.).

"Anytime you sign five guys in one class, the thing people talk about is the quantity, but I am very happy with the quality of people in this class," Sadler said. "I am excited not only about the basketball potential of this group, but also the character and makeup of this class. When you have an individual with those two things, you have a chance to be a very good basketball player. I think the other thing that stands out about this group is its athleticism. When you combine this class with the freshmen we have now, we have a good foundation in place."

One of two post players in the Huskers' recruiting class, Fahro Alihodzic is originally from Vlasenica, Bosnia and is in his first season at Southeastern (Iowa) Community College playing for
Coach Terry Carroll. Rated by Van Coleman as one of the top-50 junior college players in the country, Alihodzic has gotten off to a quick start, averaging 19.5 points on 64 percent shooting, 10.0 rebounds and 2.5 steals per game in his first two games. Alihodzic spent two seasons at Fordham, but was a medical redshirt in 2010-11. As a freshman, he made 14 starts, averaging 4.5 points and 4.0 rebounds per game. He had a season-high 16 points, including 8-of-13 shooting from the field, and added eight rebounds at Saint Joseph's. Prior to attending Fordham, Alihodzic played at the Canarias Basketball Academy and was also a member of England's U-20 National Team. The son of Samir and Ferida Alihodzic, Fahro looked at Washington State and Wichita State before choosing Nebraska.

"Fahro brings experience at this level and that should help in his
adjustment. He is similar to Brandon Ubel, as he is a skilled guy who can stretch a defense and also a very active player on the inside who is not afraid to mix it up."

Keith Coleman comes to Nebraska from Marshalltown (Iowa) CC, where he plays for Coach Brynjar Brynjarsson and is in his first season in the program. The 6-foot-9, 250-pounder is a considered one of the top-25 junior college players in the class, according to Van Coleman of Hot100hoops.com. Coleman a three-star prospect by Rivals.com. Following his time at Lee (Maine) Academy, he was rated as the No. 23 center in the country by Scout.com and No. 37 by ESPN.com. Coleman is in his first season at Marshalltown CC and
will have three years of eligibility at Nebraska. Keith is the son of Keith Sr. and Rose Coleman and looked at a host of schools, including Villanova, Seton Hall and Iowa, before choosing to become a Husker."Keith is a big, physical player who is just starting to reach his potential," Sadler said. "He has a lot of athleticism and has the potential to be a very big presence, especially at the defensive and with rebounding."

One of two Kansas City metro area recruits in this year's recruiting class, Benny Parker has already enjoyed his fair share of success during a decorated high school career. The 5-10 guard has led Sumner Academy of Arts and Science to consecutive Class 4A state titles in Kansas and is a returning first-team all-state pick. In 2010-11, Parker averaged 19.8 points, 6.8 assists, 3.9 steals and 3.7 rebounds for Coach Dan Parra as Sumner posted a 23-3 mark en route to a state crown. A first-team all-metro selection by the Kansas City Star, Parker was also a third-team all-state pick as a junior and is a three-star selection by Rivals.com. He also excelled on the AAU circuit, leading the KC 76ers to three tournament titles in 2011, including the Best of Summer Double Pump tournament. The son of
Stanton and Veronica Parker, Benny chose Nebraska over DePaul, Creighton, Buffalo and Indiana State.

"Benny is a guy who expects to win every time he is on the court and you can see it in the way he plays," Sadler said. "He is someone who knows how to run a team and get others involved, and also the ability to defend the entire court."

Shavon Shields has made a name for himself as one of the top players in the Kansas City area. The 6-foot-6 wing player averaged 18 points per game at Olathe Northwest High School and Coach Mike Grove in 2010-11, earning Sunflower Conference Player of the Year and second-team all-Class 6A honors.

A two-year letterwinner, Shields joins fellow 2012 senior Willie Cauley as the first two Division I signees in Olathe Northwest's program history, as the Ravens fell one game shy of reaching the state tournament in 2011. A three-star selection by Rivals, he was rated as the No. 6 prospect in the state of Kansas this year by ESPN.com. Shields transferred into Olathe Northwest for his sophomore year, earning Sunflower League Newcomer-of-the-Year accolades. He also starred playing AAU ball for the MoKan Elite and Coach Rodney Perry. An outstanding student with a 3.97 GPA,
Shavon is the son of Will and Senia Shields. Shavon's father, Will, was one of the greatest linemen in Nebraska and NFL history, as he was a 12-time Pro Bowl selection and is on the ballot for the NFL Hall of Fame. At Nebraska, Shields won the Outland Trophy in 1992 and will be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame next summer. Shavon selected Nebraska over Texas Tech, Oregon State, Weber State, Long Beach State and Wyoming.

"I think Shavon brings a high character and makeup and is a flat-out
winner," Sadler said. "He is still maturing as a basketball player, but you can see the jump he has made in the last 18 months, and he has a high ceiling with his ability. He has that winning attitude and competitiveness and those are intangibles that not everyone has."

One of three junior college transfers in this year's recruiting class,
Jerran Young attends McLennan Community College where he is a two-year starter for Coach Kevin Gill. Rated among the nation's top 50 junior college recruits by Van Coleman and No. 39 nationally by Rival's JucoJunction site, the athletic 6-foot-5 forward was the North Texas Junior College Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year. Young was a first-team all-conference pick in 2010-11, averaging 10.2 points, 3.1 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.5 steals
per game, as the Highlanders went 28-5 and won the NTJCAC crown. This season, he is averaging 16.3 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game for McLennan CC through the first four contests. He played high school basketball at Cedar Hill High School for longtime coach David Milson. Young was the Texas District 5-5A Defensive Player of the Year as a senior, averaging 10 points, eight rebounds and 10 assists per game As a junior at Cedar Hill, he helped the team to 35 wins and a runner-up finish in Class
5A. The son of Shaundra and Tyrone Young, Jerran selected Nebraska over Oklahoma State and Baylor among other programs.

"Jerran is a big wing who can come right in and help us next year." Sadler said. "He is as athletic as anyone we have in our program, and he has the ability to score at a high level."


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