Basketball player to compete in Portsmouth Invitational Tournament

April 15, 2014 | Athletics, News
By Steve Easton

Senior guard Rian Pearson will participate in the prestigious Portsmouth Invitational Tournament this week in Portsmouth, Va.



The renowned event features 64 of the nation’s top college basketball seniors in an eight-team, four-day tournament format from Wednesday through Saturday, April 16-19.

The tournament is attended by NBA scouts and evaluators from a number of international teams.

“I am excited and humbled to participate in this invitational,” said Pearson, who will be joined by fellow Mid-American Conference players Nick Kellogg (Ohio), Javon McCrea (Buffalo) and Shayne Whittington (Western Michigan). “There are some great players on my team as well as at the entire camp. I’m going to give it my all and have fun.”

Pearson will compete for Sales Systems Ltd., along with two-time NCAA champion Niels Giffey (Connecticut) and Tarik Black (Kansas), Davante Gardner (Marquette), Josh Huestis (Stanford), Tyler Johnson (Fresno State), Markel Starks (Georgetown) and David Stockton (Gonzaga).

Pearson was an all-conference and all-district honoree in each of his three seasons as a Rocket and was the first UT player to receive all-league accolades on three occasions since Greg Stempin in the 1998-99, 1999-00 and 2000-01 campaigns. He also garnered MAC All-Tournament Team honors after averaging 21.0 points and 6.5 rebounds per game during the event.

As a senior, Pearson helped the Rockets to a school-record 27 victories as well as a share of the 2013-14 MAC regular-season title by averaging 14.6 points per game and 5.3 rebounds per game and registering career bests in both field-goal percentage (47.9) and three-point field-goal percentage (42.6).

The Raytown, Mo., native tied for the MAC scoring lead as a sophomore with 16.4 points per game and ranked third as a junior with 17.9 points per game.

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