AMES, Iowa – Redshirt sophomore Bubu Palo has been a key ingredient to the success of the Iowa State men’s basketball team and his hard work has been officially validated. Iowa State head coach Fred Hoiberg met with Palo after finals to inform him he’s earned a scholarship for the 2012 spring semester.
Iowa State competed in the 2011 fall semester with 12 scholarship players, one below the NCAA limit of 13.
A native of Ames, Iowa, Palo spent his first 2 ∏ years as a walk-on. He’s been a contributor since day one and he’s finally fulfilled his dream of earning a scholarship for his hometown team.
“Growing up in Ames, this is a great honor for me,” Palo said. “I have always wanted to be an Iowa State basketball player after watching all of the great players come through here. To have the opportunity to earn a scholarship is something I am really thankful for. To see all the effort I have put in finally pay off is really gratifying.”
Palo has played in all 12 games this season, averaging 4.8 points and 2.2 assists as one of Iowa State’s first reserves from off the bench. Palo tallied career highs in points (14) and assists (6) in Iowa State’s 86-76 win over Iowa earlier this year.
“There isn’t a person in the world who deserves this more than Bubu,” Hoiberg said. “He’s worked his tail off for us and we felt it was appropriate to award him with a scholarship for next semester. He’s had a tremendous year so far and he’s a prime example how someone can achieve their dreams through a positive work ethic.”
Hoiberg also announced today that Nazareth “Naz” Long, a 6-4, 195-pound guard who signed a financial aid agreement with the Cyclones in October, will join the Iowa State basketball team in 2012-13.
Long, a native of Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, is considered one of the best prospects out of Canada. He is currently playing for St. Martin’s Secondary School in Mississauga and will be a freshman for the Cyclones beginning in the fall of 2012.
“Naz has been playing great and we can hardly wait to see him in a Cyclone uniform,” Hoiberg said. “We both agreed it would be best for him to continue playing high school basketball and finish out the semester in Canada. He’s done everything we have asked him to do and he will be an important part of a very special recruiting class next year.”
Long will join Georges Niang (6-7, 235, Fr., Methuen, Mass.), Nkereuwem Okoro (6-5, 220, Fr., Bronx, N.Y.) and Sherron Dorsey-Walker (6-4, 175, Fr., Detroit, Mich.) as members of the 2012-13 recruiting class. The class is ranked in the top-35 nationally according to ESPNU.