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Wednesday, July 18, 2007
South Carolina's top prep player to join Gamecocks

Associated Press

COLUMBIA, S.C. -- South Carolina coach Dave Odom said 2007 Mr. Basketball for the state Mike Holmes will be admitted to school and eligible to play for the Gamecocks next season.

Holmes could be the third Mr. Basketball from the state on the court for the Gamecocks next winter. South Carolina transfers Devan Downey from Cincinnati and Zam "Buck'' Fredrick III from Georgia Tech also won the award in high school and will be eligible to play when the season starts.

"This has been a long process, but a fair one. I'm really proud of Michael and the way he handled himself through the process. Many other signees might have become discouraged, but Michael never wavered,'' Odom said in a statement Tuesday.

Holmes led Lee County High to back-to-back state titles, averaging 25 points and 13 rebounds a game in his senior season.

Holmes said he chose South Carolina because he wanted to stay close to home. He also has good memories of playing on the Gamecocks' home floor at the Colonial Center as Lee County made the state title game four years in a row.

"I love the Gamecocks fans,'' Holmes said in a statement. "The fans are supportive -- I know a lot of fans where I live. My next-door neighbor is a die-hard fan and he was always talking about me going to South Carolina. I'm glad I chose to be a Gamecock.''