Bartow announces signing of Tampa guard Sollazzo
Thursday, April 17, 2008


            JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (April 17, 2008) - ETSU head basketball coach Murry Bartow announced Thursday that the Buccaneers have received a national letter of intent from Adam Sollazzo of Tampa, Fla.


            Sollazzo, a 6-6, 185-pound point guard, comes to ETSU from Armwood High School, the same program that produced Bucs' standout James Anthony. An outstanding performer both on the floor and in the classroom, Bartow said Sollazzo - who averaged 22 points, 6.3 assists and 6.1 rebounds his senior year - fills a definite need as the Bucs prepare for next season.


            "We're really excited to have Adam joining our program," said Bartow, whose team is coming off a 19-13 season a year ago. "We think he can come in and play right away. He has great vision on the floor, and he's the son of a basketball coach so he understands the game. Adam has the tools to make his teammates better, and he's just a very smart player."


            Sollazzo told the Johnson City Press that he was impressed with ETSU and the community.


            "I knew East Tennessee State was the place for me," said Sollazzo, who currently holds a 4.6 grade point average on a weighted scale. "Mainly, I like the fact that Johnson City is a basketball town; it's the No. 1 sport there. And I liked the atmosphere. Everybody seemed very down to earth."


            Sollazzo certainly garnered his share of accolades and rewards during his prep career, and especially in his senior season. Currently a finalist for 5A "Mr. Basketball," he was the Florida Athletic Coaches Association 5A Player of the Year, the Tampa Bay Basketball Coaches Player of the Year, an All-Suncoast First Team selection, an All-Western Conference pick, and the "Paul Straub" Player of the Year.


            But most impressive, Sollazzo was named MVP of two different postseason all-star games. In the Tampa-Pinellas All-Star Game, he scored 21 points and dished out eight assists, and then facing the best players in the state at the Florida North-South All-Star Game, he posted a triple-double with 16 points, 13 assists and 11 rebounds.


            Those efforts got the attention of several schools, including Butler, Northwestern and Air Force. However, Sollazzo stuck with the Bucs.


            "Obviously he played well in those all-star games and his recruiting really heated up," Bartow said. "But he stayed firm with his commitment to us and that really says something about his character and the type of family he comes from."


            Sollazzo becomes the third member of ETSU's 2008-09 recruiting class, joining shooting guard Jarvis Jones (Memphis) and forward J.C. Ward (Marietta, Ga.). The Bucs still have two scholarships to award this season.


            For more on ETSU men's basketball throughout the spring and summer months, visit