Region XXIII champion Pearl River bolsters lineup with transfer

(Courtesy East Carolina Athletics)
(Courtesy East Carolina Athletics)

POPLARVILLE, Miss. — The reigning Region XXIII champion Pearl River men's basketball program bolstered its lineup with the recent addition of Naquante "Tae" Hardy.

The 6-foot-2 guard is transferring from East Carolina following a strong freshman campaign for the Pirates.

"Tae really fills a void left by our graduating sophomores and can play multiple roles with his excellent versatility," Pearl River coach Chris Oney said. "He really has a knack for finding what the game needs to help his team win and will bring the experience that I feel we need heading into next year."

Hardy saw action in 23 games as a freshman at ECU, making nine starts. He scored a season high 11 points in ECU's opener against Delaware State and then hit double figures again later in the season when he scored 10 against Lamar. He finished his rookie season averaging 2.3 points, 1.3 rebounds and 0.7 assists in 11.8 minutes per game.

Prior to signing with ECU over offers from Southeastern Louisiana, UAB and Louisiana Tech, Hardy was a prep standout at Miller Grover High in Lithonia, Georgia.

As a senior, Hardy averaged 19.5 points, 5.2 rebounds, 2.8 steals and 2.0 assists while leading Miller Grove to a 21-9 record and trip to the state semifinals. Hardy was named the 2016-17 Georgia Athletic Coaches Association Class 5A Player of the Year and was named the Dekalb County Player of the Year by the Atlanta Journal Constitution. He was also named first team All-Class 5A by the AJC. 

Hardy scored the go-ahead bucket in the 2016 championship game for the Wolverines and finished his junior season averaging 9.4 points, 4.4 rebounds, 1.0 assists and 1.9 steals.

Hardy spent his freshman and sophomore seasons at Southwest Dekalb High in Decatur, Georgia. He averaged 16.5 ppg with 4.6 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.7 steals as a sophomore and 12.8 points with 4.4 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 2.6 steals as a freshman.

Prior to enrolling at ECU, Hardy spent the 2017-18 season at Believe Sports Academy in Athens, Tenn.

Hardy is the latest newcomer to join the Wildcat family, joining prep signees Earl Smith(Jackson; Lanier), Kolby Moore(Clinton), Dontae Jackson(Gulfport), Dontavious Proby(Biloxi), Jariyon Wilkens(Biloxi) and Jarron Wilkens(Biloxi).

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