Matt Vines, NSU Sports Information
Versatility has been a hallmark of Northwestern State men’s basketball’s signing class thus far, and the Demons continued that trend with the inking of inside-outside presence Zurabi Zhgenti.
The 6-foot-8 junior college prospect has been part of one the most successful two-year programs in the nation.
Zhgenti played a major role in Southeastern Community College reaching two Region XI championship games in his two seasons.
“We are excited to add a player with such great skill level and shooting ability with size to our program,” said NSU coach Mike McConathy. “Zurabi played for one of the top junior college programs in the country (Southeastern CC) for a great Head Coach in Lorenzo Watkins.
“Zurabi helped lead them to a 39-16 record and back-to-back championship tournament games during his two years in the well-known Region XI.”
The Georgian native averaged eight points and four rebounds while shooting 54 percent from the field and 50 percent from long range as a freshman.
As a sophomore, Zhgenti chipped in five points and three rebounds per game.
“Zurabi has the ability to score facing the basket as well as with his back to the basket,” McConathy added. “Having such a great inside/out game will make him a tough match up during (Southland Conference) play.
“He excels in shooting, trailing, replace cuts, as well as pick and pops. His size and skill will enable him to be a great passer within our offense, and he has proven to be a solid rebounder on both ends of the floor. These skills will allow Zurabi to affect the game in many ways.”
Zhgenti also has experience on the Georgian national and international stage.
He’s a two-time member of the U20 Georgian national champions, competed on the U-18 and U-20 Georgian national team as well as in FIBA European Championships.
“He has represented his country extremely well on the international basketball stage,” McConathy said. “This will help make his transition to Division I much smoother.
“He is more than prepared for his coming successes as a Demon. We are overjoyed to sign such a talented player.”
Zhgenti is the fifth member of the NSU signing class.
He joins fellow junior college signees forward Cedric Garrett and guard Jonathan Cisse and high school guards Emareyon McDonald and Jackson Waggoner.