Fortson Cleared

Arkansas' basketball program gets a big boost when word comes Monday that incoming freshman Courtney Fortson - one of the country's best point guards - has been cleared by the NCAA Eligibility Center.

It took a lot more time than he wanted, but Courtney Fortson is finally good to go and that's a big plus for the University of Arkansas basketball program.

Fortson (5-11, 175), expected to be the starting point guard this season for the Razorbacks, got word on Monday that he had been cleared by the NCAA Eligibility Center.

"Oh, man, it seemed so long, but the great thing is that everything is all cool now and I can head that way," Fortson said Monday night. "I got the call today and told my mom and we were both just very, very thankful."

Fortson averaged 25 points, 8 assists and 6 rebounds this past season while leading The Patterson School to a 33-1 record.

He chose Arkansas over Kentucky and several other schools and has been doing his best to keep his skills sharp this summer - a time he would have liked to have been with his new teammates in Fayetteville.

"I have been shooting, working on my off hand, running - just anything you can name I have been doing it," Fortson said. "I wanted to stay ready because I know I need to come in and do a lot of things for us this season."

That's especially the case since junior star Patrick Beverley will not play for the Razorbacks this season.

"That was a big blow for us, but we are still going to have a good team," Fortson said. "It just means I have to come in and be more of a leader in addition to scoring and rebounding and whatever I need to do."

He joins an incoming class that also includes prep stars Rotnei Clarke, Andre Clark, Brandon Moore and junior college signee Montrell McDonald.

Arkansas is still awaiting word on another freshmen signee in former West Memphis star Jason Henry.

Fortson will have just a few more days before he makes the trek to Fayetteville.

"I am flying out Sunday (morning) at 7:20," Fortson said. "I can't wait to get there."

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