Mississippi State head men's basketball coach Rick Ray announced the signing of Jones County Junior College big man Johnny Zuppardo on Wednesday.
The 6-foot-9, 235-pound Kiln native chose the Bulldogs over Washington, Wichita State and Tulane.
Zuppardo led the Bobcats to a 28-5 record and a NJCAA national championship this past season. He averaged 15.2 points and 6.9 rebounds in his only season with the Bobcats.
He shot 62.7 percent from the floor and was 43.1 percent from behind the 3-point line. He went 80-for-105 from the free-throw line. On the defensive end of the floor, Zuppardo collected 32 steals and blocked 25 shots.
He was selected to the NJCAA All-Tournament and Region 23 All-Tournament teams. He garnered All-MACJC South Division first-team horns. Zuppardo will also play in the NJCAA All-Star Game in Las Vegas later this month.
“I am excited about Johnny deciding to join our basketball program,” Ray said in a school release. “His shooting percentages are off the chart. We needed a shooter in our program, but we got even more. We got a shooter that is a legitimate big who possesses a back-to-the-basket game and is tough. But more importantly, he is a proven winner. With the addition of Johnny, for the first time in my career here, we have an SEC front line that features size, length, strength, and what we sorely needed – depth.”
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