Alabama signs pair of four-star basketball prospects

TUSCALOOSA, Alabama — Alabama’s basketball team announced today it has signed the cousin of one of its former stars and a player from a standout high school program in North Carolina.

Jimmie Taylor is a 6-foot-10, 235-pound center from Greensboro High and is the cousin of Erwin Dudley, who was the Southeastern Conference’s player of the year at Alabama in 2002. That’s also the last Crimson Tide team to win the league’s regular-season championship.

Shannon Hale, a 6-8, 200-pound forward, plays at Christ School in Arden, N.C., which has produced current Duke players Mason and Marshall Plumlee.

Both Taylor and Hale are listed as four-star prospects by Rivals.com. Taylor is rated as the 60th best prospect in the country, while Hale is No. 93.

“We are very excited to have Jimmie and Shannon sign National Letter of Intents with the University of Alabama today,” Alabama coach Anthony Grant said. “They are both outstanding young men who come from quality families. They also have a passion and excitement level for Alabama and our basketball program.”

Taylor helped Greensboro to Class 3A state championships in 2011 and 2012 and averaged 9.6 points, 5.2 rebounds and 5.4 blocks a game last season.

“Jimmie will provide for us the length and athleticism needed to be successful in the SEC,” Grant said. “He is a perfect fit for our style of play, and understands what it takes to be successful winning two state championships at Greensboro High School.”

Hale averaged 15.4 points, 5.2 rebounds and 1.5 blocks as he helped Christ School to the North Carolina state semifinals last season.

“Shannon provides great versatility for his size,” Grant said. “He has an ability to play inside and out and like Jimmie is the type of player we target for how we want to play. Shannon also plays for one of the premier prep school programs in the country.”

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