Nick Norton Signs with Blazers

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Birmingham, Ala. (WIAT)-UAB head basketball coach Jerod Haase announced today that Nick Norton, a point guard from Illinois, signed his National Letter of Intent to play basketball for the Blazers.

Norton was a Class 2A Illinois Basketball Coaches Association First-Team All-State selection after averaging 17.5 points per game to go along with 6.3 assists per contest last season at Central Catholic.

Norton is also the son of UAB women’s head basketball coach Randy Norton.

“My family is extremely excited about Nick’s decision to continue his education and join the UAB men’s basketball family,” Randy Norton said. “We have tremendous respect for coach Haase and his staff, and I know great things are in store for Blazer basketball.”

See the full press release, courtesy UAB Athletics, below.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. —- Talented point guard Nick Norton, a 2013-14 Class 2A Illinois Basketball Coaches Association First-Team All-State selection, has signed a National Letter of Intent to play basketball at UAB, head coach Jerod Haase announced on Wednesday.

Norton, who spent three seasons at Rock Bridge High School in Columbia, Mo., before playing his senior campaign at Central Catholic High School in Bloomington, Ill., will enter as a true freshman for the Blazers in the 2014-15 season.

“Nick is a true point guard who has a tremendous ability to shoot the basketball,” Haase said. “He comes from a great family and has a tremendous skill set that will fit right into our program. He is smart and has a lot toughness. He also has great intangibles and is a very mature player. Our staff is excited to have Nick joining our program and we look forward to seeing him develop here at UAB.”

The 5-foot-10 point guard, known as a pure shooter with tremendous ball-handling skills, comes to UAB following a stellar prep career. Norton, the son of UAB women’s basketball head coach Randy Norton, averaged 17.5 points per game to go along with 6.3 assists per contest last season at Central Catholic.

Norton led Central Catholic to the 2013-14 Illinois Class 2A State Championship, where his team defeated Nashville High School in triple overtime to claim the state title. Norton led the Saints with 25 points in that contest, sinking 5-of-12 from 3-point range.

Central Catholic’s run to the state title capped off an outstanding season for Norton, who shot 89 percent from the free-throw line, 46 percent from 3-point range and 55 percent from the field. The point guard was named to the 2014 Pantagraph All-Area Team, made the 2013 State Farm Holiday Classic All-Tournament Team and finished his career with 1,472 career points.

“I am excited for UAB because they are getting one of the best,” said Central Catholic high school coach Jason Welch, whose team won its first-ever state championship last season with Norton as its point guard. “He is a high-skill basketball player who is going to get the ball to the right person. I have seen guys who were a lot taller than Nick try to guard him and it will absolutely amaze you with what he is able to do with the basketball.”

Norton was named the CIHoops.com Area Player of the Year and was named to the All-Area Team, joining commitments from schools such as Texas A&M, Tennessee, Saint Louis, Ohio State, Notre Dame and Illinois on the first-team list. Norton was also named the No. 5 prospect in the area according to CIHoops.com.

“Throughout the recruiting process, I just felt like UAB was the best fit for me,” Norton said. “I came on my official visit and I knew this was where I wanted to be. I immediately connected with the coaching staff here and feel like I can contribute right away. It will be great to be close to family, but I am here to play basketball and help UAB take the next step.”

Before moving to Bloomington, Ill. for his senior season, Norton played three seasons at Rock Bridge High School in Columbia, Mo., where his father was the associate women’s basketball coach at the University of Missouri. At Rock Bridge, Norton was a first-team all-state selection following his junior year and was second-team all-state during his sophomore season.

Norton’s father Randy was named the head women’s basketball coach at UAB in the spring of 2013 and Norton moved to Bloomington, Ill., to complete his high school career.

“My family is extremely excited about Nick’s decision to continue his education and join the UAB men’s basketball family,” Randy Norton said. “We have tremendous respect for coach Haase and his staff, and I know great things are in store for Blazer basketball.”

Norton will join current Blazers Denzell Watts, Chad Frazier, Tyler Madison and Robert Brown, along with UAB signee Jarvis Calhoun, in the Blazers’ backcourt this coming season.

For more information on the UAB men’s basketball team, follow the Blazers on Twitter (@UAB_MBB). For more on all UAB sports teams follow the official Twitter account of UAB Athletics (@UABAthletics).

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