GREENVILLE, N.C. --- East Carolina University head men's basketball coach Mack McCarthy has announced the addition of three walk-ons to the Pirates’ program: Howard Hurt, Derek O’Bryan and Matt Steele.
Hurt is a 6-foot-4 freshman form Salisbury, N.C. that attended prep school at Hargrave Military Academy last season where nine of his teammates received Division I scholarships. Hurt attended North Davidson (NC) High School where he averaged 17 points per game as a senior prior to enrolling at Hargrave. His father, Howard Hurt, Sr., was a second-team All-ACC selection at Duke in 1961 for coach Vic Bubas.
“Howard is an outstanding shooter and hard worker that can play anywhere on the perimeter,” stated McCarthy.
O’Bryan is a 6-foot-8 junior from Midlothian, Va. that played his freshman season at Wingate before deciding to transfer to ECU. He was invited to walk-on the team upon the recommendation of some of the Pirate players who competed against him in pick-up games on campus at the Student Recreation Center.
“He has a nice shooting touch and a big body,” McCarthy said. “We are working with him to decipher the complexities of transferring and continuing eligibility.”
Steele, listed at 6-foot-8, is freshman from Greenville, where he attended J.H. Rose High School and was a two-time all-conference performer. As a senior he averaged 12.5 points and eight rebounds while helping the Rampants capture their second consecutive conference title.
“Matt is more of a perimeter player, who has a good work ethic and is working at getting stronger,” McCarthy explained.
With the addition of the walk-ons, East Carolina now has 14 student-athletes on its 2008-09 roster, with 10 of them on scholarship.