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November 21, 2012

Golden Eagles sign first recruit of 2013 class


COOKEVILLE, Tenn. — The Tennessee Tech men's basketball team announced its first signing for the class of 2013 Wednesday afternoon, retaining a commitment from Action Sports Academy star Shaqueille Calhoun.

Calhoun, a 6-foot-3, 180-pound guard previously from Model High School in Rome, Ga., earned wide recognition for his ability to score from three-point range — he was named to ESPN.com's list of the top 25 three-point shooters nationally in the recruiting class of 2012.

According to the ESPN report, Calhoun is a high-volume shooter who plays with confidence, giving Tennessee Tech a "dynamic scorer who can knock it down from deep or pull up off the dribble."

"He brings an ability to shoot the basketball that we don't have and we haven't had in awhile," said TTU head coach Steve Payne. "He can really score. He's strong and a gifted athlete. He's a guy we feel as a freshman can step in and provide some solid minutes right away."

"He's been a Golden Eagle since he got to his prep school," added Payne. "He's doing a good job in his academics there and he's playing great. We're really looking forward to getting Shaqueille in a Golden Eagles uniform."

Calhoun averaged a double-double as a junior in 2010-11, scoring 25.7 points per game and pulling down 11.3 rebounds per contest while also dishing out 3.9 assists. He scored over 1,500 points at Model and grabbed 601 rebounds while leading his former high school to state tournament appearances in 2009 and 2011.

He was named the Rome News Tribune Player of the Year after his junior season and is a three-time Region 7AA all-star as well as a three-time Northwest Georgia Tip-Off Club all-star. Calhoun played in the Georgia High School Association (GHSA) Junior All-Star Game and was named to the Rome News Tribune All-Area Team in both 2009 and 2010.

"I think he'll be a great addition to the Tech family," said Action Sports Academy head coach Cam Dailey. "He loves the relationship he's been able to build with Coach Payne and the coaching staff at Tech. He really enjoyed the family atmosphere that the Golden Eagles offer and I feel that it will suit him well."

"He's a great kid," included Dailey. "He's a well-rounded young man and one heck of a basketball player. I think he'll fit right in at Tech and be a great player for his four years there."

Calhoun said he chose Tech because it feels like home and he believes he will fit well in the Golden Eagles' system.

"I'm really looking forward to joining the Golden Eagles," said Calhoun. "I feel like I can bring a winning attitude to the team and help contribute all-around. I know that the team is playing well right now and I'm looking forward to being a part of their future success. I'm really looking forward to playing for Coach Payne and the rest of the coaching staff. Everyone on the team seems really cool and I can't wait to get to Tennessee Tech and play alongside my future teammates."

The son of Brian and Tamika Griffin, Calhoun plans to major in business management at Tech.