Minutemen Sign Florida Big Man Bergantino
Nov. 10, 2011
AMHERST, Mass. - UMass men's basketball head coach Derek Kellogg, on the eve of the Minutemen's season opener, announced on Thursday the signing of 6-9 center Tyler Bergantino of Springhill, Fla. to a National Letter of Intent. The talented big man, now a senior at Nature Coast Technical High School in Brooksville, Fla., will join the Minutemen for the 2012-13 season.
"Tyler exemplifies exactly the type of person and player we want at UMass," Kellogg said. "He is an extremely high-character young man and plays the game at a high level at both ends of the floor. My staff, the team, the UMass community and I are all very excited to have Tyler joining the UMass basketball family."
At 6-9, 240 lbs., Bergantino is a physical force inside and possesses rapidly improving skill and touch around the basket. He enters his senior year at Nature Coast the school's all-time leading scorer with 1,150 career points. Bergantino is coming off a junior campaign in which he led all of Hernando County with averages of 17.9 points, 12.5 rebounds and 4.8 blocked shots. That followed up a sophomore season in 2009-10 in which he posted averages of 14.5 points, 10.9 rebounds and 5.2 blocks.
"The main selling point was Coach Kellogg and his staff," Bergantino said. "They are unbelievable, both with their coaching and personality."
Bergantino was an FACA All-State selection, repeated as the unanimous Hernando County Player of the Year and North Suncoast Player of the Year, as well as appeared on the Mr. Basketball ballot for Florida Class 4A.
He led Nature Coast to back-to-back Florida Elite Eight appearances.
Bergantino plays his AAU basketball with the widely respected Florida Elite squad.
ESPN Recruiting Nation says, "Bergantino makes a living on the glass. He has lost about 30 pounds since we last saw him and he's more explosive around the basket which has helped him become a better finisher especially above the rim."
Kellogg and the Minutemen open their 2011-12 season on Friday night at 9 p.m. when they host Elon at the historic Curry Hicks Cage. The game will be televised in the Boston area on WBIN.