Ohio Junior Makes Decision

Zack Hillesland isn't well-known outside of Ohio, especially after a knee injury threatened to end his junior campaign. However, he came back ahead of schedule and also made his college decision much earlier than he ever imagined.

It's been a year of extreme highs and lows for Zach Hillesland.

After a torn meniscus threatened to end his junior season, the 6-8, 210-pound forward committed to Notre Dame on Tuesday night.

``We couldn't be happier, said Hillesland's mother, Diane. "It's a great day for us and I think it's a great match."

Hillesland is a 4.2 student who shoots it well, has good court awareness and is a good ballhandler and passer. He's deceptively quick and evokes comparison to former Irish player Dan Miller.

``He's really good, but he's going to get much better," Toledeo St. John's (Ohio) coach Ed Heintschel said. " He's been a soccer player until this year and that's part of the season he's got great footwork."

``He reminds me of (Mike) Dunleavy (Jr.), but he's a better athlete and not as good of a shooter," added Heintschel. "He can really defend people, though."

Hillesland also had an offer from N.C. State and received interest from Stanford, Michigan and Northwestern.

Hillesland had knee surgery on Dec. 12 after suffering the injury in the third game of the season. After doctors feared he might miss the rest of the year, he returned a month later.

He is averaging 12 points and 8.7 rebounds in seven games this season on a team with Dayton-bound guard Brian Roberts and junior B.J. Raymond, who leads the team at 18 points per game.

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