Local Standout Ben Finney Signs With Monarchs

April 12, 2007
By ODU Athletics
ODU Sports

April 12, 2007

NORFOLK, VA--Old Dominion University head basketball coach Blaine Taylor announced the signing of 6-5, 220-pound forward Ben Finney, a two-sport star at Portsmouth's Norcom High School, and Hargrave Military Academy to a national letter of intent.

"We are obviously thrilled to have Ben in our ODU family," said Taylor. "We have followed him for many years and have appreciated his many exploits on the local sports scene. He is a very gifted athlete who posses nice size, speed, strength, and whose skills have steadily grown. The extra year of development at Hargrave should benefit Ben much like a red-shirt season and enhance his ability to help in the near future."

Finney earned first team All-Tidewater honors in both basketball and football. Finney averaged 26.2 points and 13.2 rebounds per game as a senior in 2006. He caught 81 passes for 1,186 yards as a senior and set the Virginia High School League records for receptions and receiving yardage in a game when he hauled down 19 passes for 372 yards.

While at Hargrave, Finney averaged 15.6 points, 6.0 rebounds and 3.3 assists for Head coach Kevin Keatts. Hargrave compiled a 25-5 record.

Finney joins Monarch early signees Etoile Imama, a 6-3, 195-pound guard from Montreal's Champlain St. Lambert and 6-5, 185-pound guard/forward Kent Bazemore (Windsor, NC.) from Bertie High School in Bertie, NC., along with freshmen red-shirts, 6-8, 220 forward Keyon Carter (Riviera Beach, Fl.) and 6-8, 235-pound forward Frank Hassell (Chesapeake, Va.) from near by Indian River High School.

Imama, a point guard was a member of Canada's under-19 team last summer. He averaged 13.4 points, 6.2 assists, 4.3 rebounds and 2.1 steals per game during the 2006-07 season. He also hit 85 percent of his free throws. As a junior, Imama averaged 11.1 points, 6.5 assists and 4.2 rebounds per game at Canadian powerhouse Champlain St. Lambert which is coached by John Dangelas. Imama earned three All-Star tournament selections and was a first team All-Conference pick. He helped lead Champlain St. Lambert to the Conference finals and a third place finish in all of Canada.

Bazemore averaged 18.8 points, 10.3 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 3.2 steals per game as a senior. He was named Northeast North Carolina Coastal Conference Player of the Year and Roanoke-Chowan Player of the Year for the second straight season. Bazemore Was selection to participate in the North Carolina-South Carolina All-Star game. As a junior, he averaged 22.9 points and 9.8 rebounds per game as a junior for head Coach Calvin Moore at Bertie High School. Bazemore was the Northeast North Carolina Coastal Conference Player of the Year and the Roanoke-Chowan District Player of the Year.

"The incoming group of five kids will be in our freshmen class give a good feel for the future of Old Dominion basketball, " said Taylor. " Two red-shirts, a prep school product and two natural freshmen fit together and while they will need to help us next year, there years together will be fun to watch."


NORFOLK, VA--The Old Dominion University men's basketball team will be taking a fall tour to the Bahamas over the Labor Day Weekend.

The Monarchs will leave on Aug. 31st and return on Monday, Sept. 3rd. The team is scheduled to play three games while there. The Monarchs will be allowed up to 10 practices prior to the trip.

The Monarchs will stay at the beautiful Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island in the Bahamas.

"It just a few years ago we took a young team on a tour to London which bonded a group that would be the foundation of the fun and achievement of the last few years," Said Taylor. "We hope the practice and experience provided by this opportunity will help a new group with new roles and new faces prepare for a very challenging schedule and CAA race."

BIG BLUE BBQ SET FOR MAY 3RD NORFOLK, VA--The annual Hoopsclub Big Blue Bar-B-Q will be May 3rd from 5-8 p.m. at the Constant Convocation Center.

Join head coach Blaine Taylor, his coaching staff and the Monarch squad for an evening of fun, and honor the seniors Drew Williamson, Valdas Vasylius, Arnaud Dahi and John Morris who have helped guide the Monarchs to 93 win the past four years.

Special awards to be presented: The Paul Webb Best Represents ODU Award; the Team MVP; The Cal Bowdler Most Improved Award; and the Mark West Best Defensive Award. The Menu includes food, beverage, music and a fun evening with the Monarchs. Call 683-5484.

The event is presented by The Culpepper Real Estate Development Group, Monarch Catering, and Sheriff Bob McCabe.