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Video: Troy Holston makes his college choice

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Wed. August 7, 2013 | John C. Cotey | Email

Oldsmar Christian shooting guard Troy Holston, who shot up the recruiting charts this summer, narrowed his list of six finalists down to one — USF, a decision he made official this week.

Holston picked the Bulls over Memphis, Marquette, Miami, Kansas State and Alabama after a big summer on the AAU circuit in which he evolved from a mid-major prospect to one with more than a dozen high major offers.

His choice came down to Miami and USF, and in the end, playing in his own back yard was too tough to resist.

“I chose USF because it was my hometown and it was close to my family, and I believe we can do great things there,’’ said Holston. “I think Stan Heath is a great coach. Why leave the state for something that’s right here in my back yard?”

At 6-foot-4 with a scorer’s mentality, Holston could develop into one the Bulls’ first pure basket fillers since former standout Dominique Jones. He has developed his outside shot and can also take the ball to the hoop, and was unstoppable at some of his summer events. Oldsmar Christian coach Jordan Fair said the jump his senior guard has made the past two years is remarkable.

“I think he’s always been very talented,’’ Fair said. “He has a great work ethic. That, along with his talent level, has contributed to this big jump. He was always a good shooter, but he has hit the gym and worked really hard to become a great shooter.”

Holston started his prep career at Freedom, and played his sophomore season at Wharton. But despite the long drive from new Tampa, he says Oldsmar Christian is home. His mother, Monique, smiled proudly from her seat in the Eagles gymnasium as Holston made his decision official Tuesday morning.

Holston said playing somewhere Monique could watch him was the deciding factor in becoming a Bull.

“She’s been sacrificing all my life,’’ Holston said. “She’s driven me all over for basketball, and I used to play baseball in the summer. She’s dedicated her life to me so I can reach my dreams. I love her to death.”

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