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Travis Hester

Travis Hester

UE is seeking a 3-point shooter – that according to Scott Willard, coach of The Miller (Va.) School’s boys’ basketball team.

It’s no coincidence then that one of Willard’s players, senior guard Travis Hester, visited campus with family last weekend.

“He’s one of the best shooters around – a lefty with unlimited range,” Willard said of Hester, a 6-foot-4 guard who previously committed to Hofstra in January.

Hofstra then fired coach Mo Cassara in March before hiring Joe Mihalich from Niagara on April 10. Mihalich didn’t honor the verbal pledges assembled by Cassara, forcing Hester to re-open his recruitment.

“One of the schools interested was Evansville,” Willard said. “He was there for a couple days over the weekend – played with the guys and met the coaching staff – and went out there to check it out on an unofficial visit.”

The Aces are set to graduate Ned Cox, a 40 percent 3-point shooter, as well as Colt Ryan, who hit from beyond the arc at a 39 percent clip last season.

UE is already set to bring in sharpshooter Blake Simmons from Castle as a freshman in the fall, but other signees Jaylon Brown from Fishers High School and Cleveland star Duane Gibson are known more as ones than twos.

“Obviously the opportunity to play in that conference there, with the talented group they have and them really reaching out for a shooter, got Travis and his family excited to drive over there and meet them,” Willard said. “They hadn’t recruited him previously, so they’re trying to check out all opportunities and find the best fit.”

Hester is a fifth-year, reclassified senior who played three of those seasons for Willard at the Miller School, where the Crozet, Va., native averaged 14.5 points per game last season. There are anywhere from five to 10 schools looking at him, Willard said.

Hester visited along with Cowley County Community College sophomore Ben Vozzola, a 6-foot-4 guard who made 39 percent of his 3-point attempts this year in the junior college ranks. Neither player has reportedly earned a scholarship offer from the Aces’ staff, though college coaches can’t comment on recruits unless they’ve signed a binding letter of intent.

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