ETSU recruit feels like part of the family

Joe Avento • Updated Nov 11, 2017 at 6:03 PM

D’Andre Bernard said he signed with the East Tennessee State basketball team because his future teammates and coaches made him feel like part of the family.

Bernard, a 6-foot-8, 185-pound junior college forward from Ontario, Canada, signed a letter of intent on Thursday. He is in his second season at Georgia Highlands College and will have two years of eligibility left when he joins the Bucs next season.

“When I came down, Coach Steve Forbes made everything feel like a family environment,” Bernard said Saturday. “That’s when the team made me feel like I was part of the family.

“When I talked to coach Forbes, I saw everything they would have for me as a player. He has a long history of taking in guys from junior colleges and I know this is a place I can trust. He’ll trust me and give me the opportunity to come in and get better.”

Bernard had offers from Illinois-Chicago and Eastern Michigan and interest from many other mid-majors, including Chattanooga.

Bernard began his career at North Florida and red-shirted as a freshman before deciding to transfer. He wound up at Georgia Highlands, where he is averaging 9.7 points and 6.7 rebounds through three games this season. He had a 19-point effort against Caldwell Community College.

“I’m happy to get back to Division I,” he said. “It felt like it had been a while, a lot of hard work that I put in.”

So what can ETSU fans expect to see when Bernard takes to the court next season after he finishes up at Georgia Highlands?

“A lot of energy and hopefully a lot of dunks,” he said. “Someone that’s going to give their best effort every game, every practice. Someone that can stretch the floor, shoot the ball and defend a lot of different positions.”

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