Familiar connections help State land hoop recruit Funderburk

Like current team member Braxton Beverly, 6-9 forward Derek Funderburk spent time at both Hargrave Military Academy and Ohio State before joining the Wolfpack

Derek Funderburk (shown dribbling) was a redshirt at Ohio State last season before being dismissed from the team in June (OhioStateBuckeyes.com photo)

  Braxton Beverly and Derek Funderburk were teammates at Hargrave Military Academy and for a few weeks this summer, at Ohio State. Now, the two will team up as member of the NC State basketball team.

  Beverly, a freshman point guard, is currently on the Wolfpack’s roster and fighting an NCAA ruling that will force him to sit out this season because of his short time with the Buckeyes.

  Funderburk, a 6-foot-9, 205-pound forward, signed a National Letter of Intent to join State beginning in 2018-19.

  He becomes the fifth four-star prospect to sign with coach Kevin Keatts for next season, joining Manny Bates, Saddiq Bey, Jericole Hellems and Ian Steere.

  “With this new era of position-less basketball, D.J. is a guy we felt would be a great fit within our system,” Keatts said in a statement announcing Funderburk’s signing. “Our whole class has been focused around adding length and versatility, and D.J. is a guy we look forward to using at a bunch of different positions.”

  Funderburk, a native of Lakewood, Ohio, averaged 18 points, nine rebounds and three assists per game as a senior at Hargrave for current Wolfpack assistant A.W. Hamilton.

  He redshirted at Ohio State last season and was dismissed from the team for “failing to meet team expectations” in June shortly after Chris Holtmann replaced Thad Motta as the Buckeyes’ coach. He currently playing at Northwest Florida State College in Niceville, Fla., and is ranked as the No. 1 junior college prospect in the country.