Sept. 10, 2009
DEKALB, Ill. -
The Northern Illinois men's basketball team bolstered its backcourt with the addition of 6-foot-2, 190-pound guard Antone Christian (pronounced AN-TON), who is enrolled in fall classes at NIU. Christian, a recruited walk-on from Nashville, will begin his four-year eligibility in the upcoming 2009-10 season.
Christian graduated from Martin Luther King Magnet High School in Nashville last spring. He was a four-year letterwinner and three-time Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association (TSSAA) All-Conference honoree for the Royals, playing under high school head coach James "Doc" Shelton.
"Antone is a nice addition to our team," said NIU head coach Ricardo Patton. "He's a guy that (assistant coach) Will Smith has been helping us recruit for a couple of years, and we're thrilled that he came on board, and decided to pursue his college education at Northern Illinois."
"He is an athletic guard that can really shoot the ball. We expect Antone to be a large part of our success during his career at NIU."
Christian served as a team captain as both a junior (2007-08) and senior (2008-09) at MLK Magnet. In his senior campaign, Christian garnered first-team all-conference and all-area plaudits, while being named a second-team all-state performer. He also participated in the Tennessee Athletic Coaches Association (TACA) All-Star game. Christian averaged 22.1 points and eight rebounds per game in his final high school season.
In Christian's junior campaign, he was named first-team all-conference and all-area after averaging 17.1 points and six rebounds per contest. He averaged 11 points per game, and seven rebounds per outing as a sophomore (2006-07), collecting his first-career all-conference honor.
Christian helped the Royals record conference championships in both his freshman (2005-06) and sophomore seasons. The Royals secured a third-place finish in the TSSAA Conference Tournament last season.
Christian becomes the fourth newcomer on the 2009-10 NIU men's basketball roster, joining true freshman Tony Nixon
, redshirt freshman Keith Smith
and junior transfer Xavier Silas