Jan. 3, 2007
BOCA RATON, FL - Sammy Hernandez, a 6-5, 230-pound sophomore from George Mason University, has transferred to Florida Atlantic University and will join the men's basketball team.
Hernandez must sit out a year due to transfer rules, making him eligible to play no earlier than Spring Semester, 2008.
"He's a tough kid that has won at every level," Head Coach Rex Walters said. "He has two high school championship rings, a Final Four ring and he brings a real level of toughness to the program."
The Puerto Rico native appeared in all 35 games as a freshman for the Patriots in their run to the Final Four last season after graduating from Arlington Country Day in Jacksonville, FL. He finished his freshman campaign fifth on the team in rebounding (3.1) and seventh in scoring (2.8), averaging just over 11 minutes per game.
"He's a kid that can play the three or the four, can shoot the ball and put it on the floor," Walters said.
Hernandez, who grew up in Miami, appeared in the first two games of the season during the Fall of 2006, playing nine minutes and going 1-for-2 from the field while grabbing three rebounds before it was announced on November 25 that he was looking to transfer closer to home.
Art Alvarez, Hernandez's high school and AAU coach (Miami Tropics), is pleased to see him move closer to home.
"I brought him in as a 13-year old and was kind of a surrogate father to him. To be able to watch him again will be a real pleasure for me," Alvarez said. "He's a big time winner wherever he's been. He's had an opportunity to play against multiple NBA players and he'll bring the level of toughness that Rex really looks for in his players."
During his high school career, he helped Arlington Country Day to its first state title and was named the 2A tournament's Most Outstanding Player. He was also ranked eighth by USA Today's National Top 25 and was named to the Class 2A All-State First Team.
He will have two years of eligibility remaining after sitting out his transfer year.
Additionally, Carlos Monroe, who had previously been sidelined, is expected to rejoin the team against New Orleans on Thursday. The sophomore forward leads the team in scoring at 15.7 points per game and in rebounding at 8.4.