Hokies sign three to NLI

BLACKSBURG, Va. -- Virginia Tech head men’s basketball coach Buzz Williams has announced the signings of Jonathan Kabongo, Jarren McAllister and Landers Nolley II to National Letters of Intent. The trio will enroll at Virginia Tech in the fall of 2018.

“We are very excited to add these three outstanding young men to our program,” Williams said. “Any day you welcome players into your program is special, but these young people will add talent, work ethic and a desire to be part of what we are building. This trio will fit well into the fabric and culture of our program and will be vital parts in our growth, both on and off the court.”

Jonathan Kabonogo is a 6-4, 180 lbs., guard from Toronto, Ontario. He will be completing his senior season at Putnam Science Academy in Putnam, Connecticut. He played for the Canadian U17 National team his freshmen season. Jonathan won the All-USA Performance of the Week (USAToday.com) while scoring 42 points in a game his junior year at Huntington Prep. His older brother, Myck, played two seasons at Texas and earned All-Big 12 Honorable Mention while averaging 14.6 ppg, 5.0 rpg, & 5.5 apg.

He is rated the No. 35 high school senior point guard in the nation by ESPN, who ranks him as a four-star recruit. Kabongo chose the Hokies over Indiana, Washington State and Missouri.

“Jonathan Kabongo brings great playmaking and scoring ability to our team,” Williams said. “He knows how to play the game and his great attitude is infectious. Jonathan is outstanding with the ball in his hands and makes smart plays that help his teammates succeed. He is another outstanding player from the rich Canadian system.”

Jarren McAllister is a 6-4, 185 lbs., guard from Wake Forest, North Carolina. He is a four-year varsity basketball letterman at Heritage High School. He is one of only two players in Heritage history to score 1,000 points in his career. He averaged 13.4 points, 3.4 assists, and 5.1 rebounds last season as a junior. He ranks in the top three all-time in points scored, rebounds, assists, and steals. A two-time first team all-conference player his sophomore and junior season, McAllister helped improve the Huskies win total each season he’s been on the team. During his junior year, McAllister earned MVP of the John Wall Holiday Invitational Tournament, after pouring in a career high 26 points in the championship game over Garner High School. McAllister would go on to help lead the Huskies to a school record 28 wins, the school's first conference championship in basketball, and a number one seed in the NCHSSA state playoffs.

McAllister was named to the 2017 North Carolina Coaches Association All-District team, the second year in a row he garnered the award. Previous to his senior season, Jarren participated in the NBA Players Association Top 100 camp, a collection of the top 100 high school players in the country. McAllister is a consensus three-star recruit by the major recruiting services.

“Jarren McAllister is an 'OKG',” Williams said. “He brings a winning attitude and elite athleticism to our program. He is one of the best transition finishers in the country and has amazing defensive potential. He is what we call a “switchable”, he can play almost every position offensively and defensively.”

Landers Nolley II is a 6-7, 210 lbs., shooting guard at Langston Hughes High School in Fairburn, Georgia. He is ranked the No. 90 high school senior boys basketball player in the country by ESPN and the 55th best in the country by Rivals.com. In his junior year, Nolley led Langston Hughes to a 25-8 record and their first-ever 6A state title last season, when he earned all-state honors. Nolley had 26 points, six rebounds and four blocks in the state title game. He averaged 25 points and seven rebounds last season, when he made 46 percent of his 3-pointers. In his sophomore season, Nolley also won a 4A state championship with Curie High School in Chicago, Illinois, making him a back-to-back state champion in two different states. He averaged 17 points as a sophomore at Curie. Nolley played travel basketball with Team Loaded NC on the Adidas gauntlet this past summer and was widely regarded as one of the best shooters and scorers in the country. His father, Landers Nolley Sr., played college basketball for Dale Brown at LSU.

Nolley is a consensus 4-star recruit and is rated the No. 23 senior small forward in the nation by ESPN. He chose the Hokies over Georgia, Illinois, Connecticut, NC State and Florida State.

“Landers ‘Chez’ Nolley II’s winning pedigree is second to none,” Williams said. “He is a back-to-back state champion in two different states and one of the best shooters in the nation. Having a father that has played at the highest levels of college basketball has helped him develop into a outstanding young man and as a player. His versatility, length and athleticism will be great addition to our program. Chez brings with him to Blacksburg the ability to stretch the defense from day one and that skill is very valued in our program.”

The Hokies open the 2017-18 regular season on Friday, Nov. 10 at 6 p.m. against Detroit Mercy in Cassell Coliseum. The game, streamed live on ACC Network Extra, is the first game in the 2K Classic benefiting Wounded Warrior Project.

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