HOUSTON -- Guard Nate Hinton will join the University of Houston Men's Basketball program in 2018-19 after signing a National Letter of Intent, Head Coach Kelvin Sampson announced Wednesday.
Measuring 6-foot-6 and 200 pounds, Hinton will begin competition as a freshman with the Cougars and have four years of eligibility. He chose Houston over Arkansas, Auburn, Clemson, Florida State, Georgetown, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Miami (Fla.), Minnesota, Oklahoma State, Pittsburgh, Seton Hall and Tennessee.
Hinton was listed as a 4-star recruit by ESPN and stands at No. 95 in the ESPN 100. The Gastonia, N.C., native was also ranked as the No. 4 shooting guard in the state of North Carolina by Rivals.
"Nate was one of the breakout stars of the summer. He is a big, strong physical guard with a great mid-range game, and he can play anywhere. He can pass and has great length," Sampson said. "His family wanted the best situation for Nate, where he could develop on and off the court and receive a quality education, and that's one of the reasons we signed him. Nate is a high-level, young man."
As a junior for Head Coach Trent McCallister at Gaston Day School, Hinton averaged a team-high 19.1 points per game while leading the Spartans to the N.C. Independent Schools 2A semifinals.
"Nate is the ultimate competitor. He plays extremely hard and is very hard working. He is a big guard that does a lot of things well. He scores and shoots off the dribble, and he creates for others," McCallister. "As good as he is on the court, he is even better off it. Nate has great leadership skills and is extremely respectful. He is just a really good person and a great teammate."
He totaled 17.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game while hitting 55 percent of his shots from the field during summer competition and led AAU's Team Loaded NC to the championship game of the Adidas Gauntlet tournament.
Hinton became the first member of the Cougars' signing class with additional announcements expected in the days ahead.
The Cougars also welcomed 9-year-old Nicholas Hickey to the program at a press conference in mid-October. Diagnosed with epilepsy, apraxia of speech and autism, Nicholas faces challenges in communication verbally but remains a happy, young man, who enjoys playing any sports with a ball with his siblings.
The Cougars return to action when they play host to McNeese at 7 p.m., Friday, inside H&PE Arena in the regular-season opener for both teams. It will be the first of 15 regular-season home games for the Cougars inside the city of Houston.
Fans can purchase tickets for 15 regular-season games inside H&PE Arena on the campus of Texas Southern for as low as $100. Fans can purchase season tickets online at UHCougars.com/tickets or by calling the Athletics Ticket Office at 713-GO-COOGS (462-6647).
Fans are encouraged to use the FREE parking shuttle to H&PE Arena during the 2017-18 season. Shuttle service begins at 5:30 p.m., Friday, in Lot 12A near Gate 3 of the TDECU Stadium parking lot.
Shuttle return service begins immediately after the game and will run for one hour.
Fans can park for $5 while spaces are available in the TSU garage adjacent to H&PE Arena. Fans wishing to pay for parking should enter the garage off Blodgett Street.
For more information about Men's Basketball parking, fans can click here.
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Fans who join the 50-50 Club will receive embroidered team apparel, a signed basketball, invitations to practice, a tour of the $25 million Guy V. Lewis Development Facility, regular updates about the program and much more.
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