Former Ashe County High standout Tommy Spagnolo is among six freshmen, who will join the Appalachian State University men's basketball team this season. The Mountaineers (13-18 last season) had their annual Black & Gold
scrimmage Wednesday night at the Holmes Center. They will play a pair of exhibition games against Lees McRae (Friday, November 2) and Carson-Newman (Monday, November 5) before officially opening the season against Montreat on Friday, November 9.
Spagnolo, who sat out last season in accordance to NCAA rules, is eligible to play this season. He comes to ASU from Radford College, a Division I school and a member of the Big South Conference. Spagnolo, who red-shirted at Radford as a true freshman, had an eight-point, 20-rebound game against Wake Forest in 2010.
But Spagnolo, who stands 6-foot-7 and weighs 210 pounds, spent a rocky couple of years at Radford. His problems included academic issues and being ticketed for misdemeanor marijuana possession in a residence hall. He had not played since the early part of the 2010-11 season because of an injury and other unspecified problems.
According to the ASU athletic department, he does have three years of eligibility remaining. Spagnolo played in the Carolinas All-Star Classic in Myrtle Beach, S.C., his senior year at Ashe County High in 2009.
Dustin Clark, who played at Avery High, comes to ASU after playing as a true freshman at Hartford University, a Division I school and a member of America East Conference last season. He was originally going to attend Gardner Webb University, a Division I school in Boiling Springs, N.C., and a member of the Big South Conference, before changing his mind and enrolling at ASU. Clark, a two-time Western Highlands 1A/2A Conference Player of the Year at Avery, will sit out a year in accordance to NCAA transfer rules. But he will still have three years of eligibility remaining.
Photo Courtesy: Tommy Spagnolo, PHOTO SUBMITTED