Gio McLean Signs with Texas Tech

Giovanni McLean's road to Big 12 basketball is a long and winding story of perseverance.

Combo guard Giovanni McLean became the latest addition to the Texas Tech roster when he signed with the Red Raiders on Monday.

A graduate transfer who averaged 12.9 points, 4.7 rebounds and 3.3 assists at Quinnipiac last season, McLean will have one season to play and is immediately eligible.

The 6-foot-1, 195-pound guard originally from The Bronx, New York has traveled a long and winding road to get to Big 12 country, but he has arrived. 

"My family and I thought it (Texas Tech) was the best fit for me and my future and I really respect Coach (Chris) Beard and his staff," McLean told Raider Power on Monday. "It gets no better than playing in the Big 12."

McLean's journey, which is detailed in this terrific feature by Mike DeCourcy of the Sporting News, included him not graduating high school, earning his GED, attending two junior colleges, surviving a transcript scandal and more. In fact, at one point McLean was committed to Oklahoma, but according to the Sporting News article linked above, a technicality would have forced him to sit a year so McLean went to Quinnipiac instead. 

Then the transcript scandal, which by all accounts he was a victim of, not a perpetrator, involving McLean and several of his former teammates at Westchester Community College, hit and he was ruled ineligible for the 2014-15 season at Quinnipiac. McLean persevered with the help of his support group at Quinnipiac, regained his eligibility, turned in a strong individual performance on the court last year and earned his degree in sociology. 

Now he's a Red Raider.

"Life threw everything plus the kitchen sink at me but I'm persistent so I never let any of it deter me from my goals," McLean said Monday.

McLean, who said he expects to report to Tech soon after July 4th weekend, potentially brings a lot to the table as a dependable ball handler, perimeter shooter and experienced player. 

"The plan is for me to just play basketball with whoever is on the court. Being a point guard comes naturally to me and I'm also a scoring guard so coach will utilize my abilities in which ever way it will benefit the team."

McLean is the fifth addition to the Red Raider roster since Chris Beard was hired as head coach at Texas Tech in mid-April joining fellow transfers Niem Stevenson, Shadell Millinghaus, Anthony Livingson and Brandone Francis

Note: Footage from Inside Streetball and Positive Production was used in this report.

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