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Indiana University

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IU gets player, hosts alums

Zeller, Oladipo participate in event in Indy

– Indiana used its final scholarship for the upcoming season on Emmitt Holt, a 6-foot-7 graduate of Webster Schroeder High School in New York.

Holt, a forward, averaged 19.8 points, 14.6 rebounds and five blocks as a senior.

Vermont Academy coach Alex Popp told ESPN of Holt’s decision to play for the Hoosiers.

He had previously planned to play a year for Popp and attend college in 2015.

“My parents always told me that the worst feeling in life is to look back and say, ‘I wonder,’ because once doors close it’s rare that they are reopened,” Holt posted Wednesday on his Twitter account.

“I would like to announce that I have committed to Indiana University. I want to take the time out to thank God for giving me this opportunity along with my family, friends, coaches and everyone that has supported me along the way.”

Holt is expected to add interior depth, along with fellow freshman forwards Tim Priller and Jeremiah April.

While Holt represents the future of IU basketball, the past was back in the state as former Indiana men’s basketball stars Victor Oladipo and Cody Zeller teamed up one more time for their alma mater Wednesday night.

They cherished every moment.

The two college teammates, who have moved on to the NBA, signed autographs, shared laughs and traded stories with about 500 fans who showed up at Lucas Oil Stadium for a late-summer event co-sponsored by the school’s alumni association and Varsity Club.

“It’s always good to come back and be around people you know,” said Oladipo, who plays for the Orlando Magic. “All those memories come rushing back.”

That seemed to be the case for everyone at the star-studded autograph table.

The two 2013 NBA lottery picks were essentially welcomed into the alumni fraternity by new basketball Hall of Fame inductee Bobby “Slick” Leonard, 1989 Heisman Trophy runner-up Anthony Thompson and former Hoosiers running back George Taliaferro – the first black player drafted by an NFL team.

Yet for Oladipo, who was taken No. 2 overall in the 2013 draft, and Zeller, taken No. 4 overall by Charlotte, this was more of a business trip.

This week, they were working out in Bloomington, along with Dwyane Wade and a small contingent of his Miami Heat teammates.

It turned out to be an informal reunion between Indiana coach Tom Crean and three of his best basketball students.

Together, Crean, Oladipo and Zeller helped the Hoosiers dig out from an NCAA scandal and put Indiana back on the national basketball map with two straight trips to the NCAA tournament’s regional round.

Before moving to Bloomington, Crean and Wade worked together at Marquette.

Crean used the workouts to give some of his younger players a rare glimpse into what it takes to make it in the NBA.

“The timing was such that not everyone could make it, but some of the guys got to watch,” Crean said.

“There’s no way they can’t get better when they have an opportunity to watch guys like that work in the summer.”

Leonard, the star of Indiana’s 1953 national championship team and now a Pacers radio broadcaster, said the four greatest years of his life were in Bloomington and that he has been following Oladipo and Zeller since they started playing at Indiana.

Zeller is helping the Hoosier State’s tentacles extend to Charlotte, which drafted another ex-Hoosier forward, Noah Vonleh, in the first round in June and then signed former Pacers guard Lance Stephenson in July.

“I didn’t get to play with Noah when I was in school, but it’s going to be fun here,” Zeller said.

“I’ve not talked to Lance yet, but I played against him three times this year, and everyone in the NBA knows each other pretty well, so it’s going to be good having him.”