Holton joins Division I talent to represent United States at Four Nations Cup in Estonia
COLCHESTER, Vt. - Saint Michael's College men's basketball rising junior Mike Holton Jr. (Portland, Ore./The Winchendon School) was one of 11 college players selected to represent the United States later this week and early next at the Four Nations Cup in the European nation of Estonia. He joins a roster that boasts student-athletes from major Division I conferences, and will oppose teams with a pair of active NBA players.
Holton's East Coast All Stars will compete on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday in the capital city of Tallinn against national teams representing Estonia and fellow European countries Georgia and the Czech Republic. Among his teammates are a player who previously won gold medals for the United States at two international tournaments, an Atlantic 10 Conference All-Rookie selection, and a Pac-12 Conference All-Freshman pick. Two players apiece from Duke University, West Virginia University and Division III Lycoming (Pa.) College were selected, while the University of Iowa, the University of Maryland, Stanford University and Xavier University each claim one member.
A Daktronics All-East Region pick last winter, Holton was second in the 16-team Northeast-10 Conference in scoring (17.0), free throws (120) and free-throw shooting (84.5%), leading the team in all three categories, in addition to three-pointers (48). The 6-foot-1 guard added career highs in rebounding (3.9) and assists (70). Holton also earned postseason honors from the NE-10 and the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) while leading his team in scoring during 17 of 26 games.
In three contests against NE-10 regular-season co-champions Adelphi University and Franklin Pierce University - two teams that qualified for the NCAA Tournament - Holton averaged 23.0 points on 54.1 percent shooting, including 56.3 percent (9-for-16) from three-point range and 95.2 percent (20-of-21) on free throws. With 884 career points, Holton heads into 2012-13 aiming to become the 14th Purple Knight junior to reach 1,000.
The East Coast All Stars arrive in Tallinn on Thursday, opposing Viimsi Spordikeskuss for an exhibition game on Friday at 6:30 p.m. local time, which is seven hours ahead of Colchester and Eastern Daylight Time.
The Four Nations Cup begins on Sunday, with Holton's team tipping off at 5:45 p.m. against the Czech Republic, which is led by Jan Veselý, the No. 6 pick in the 2011 NBA Draft and a current member of the Washington Wizards. On Monday, it opposes the host nation at 8 p.m. before facing Georgia the next day at 5:45 p.m. Zaza Pachulia, the 6-foot-11 Atlanta Hawk center, will compete for his native Georgia during the tournament.
Estonia, which has a population approaching 1.3 million, is located in Northeastern Europe, along the Baltic Sea. The country borders Finland by water to the north, Latvia to the south, and Russia to the east, near the major city of Saint Petersburg.
This is the second straight year the East Coast All Stars, who were established in 2006, will compete in the Four Nations Cup. Initially founded to assemble some of the country's best college basketball talent for competition abroad, the team has competed in Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Holland, Slovakia, Sweden and Switzerland. Lycoming head coach Guy Rancourt has served as the coach since the team began.
To follow Holton and the East Coast All Stars during the Four Nations Cup, visit the squad's Facebook or Twitter accounts. For more information about the East Coast All Stars, including a complete roster, visit here.