GREENVILLE, N.C. – East Carolina University men’s basketball announced the signings of guard Bobby Pettiford Jr. and wing Ta’Korrie Faison on Wednesday afternoon.
Pettiford Jr. and Faison will attend ECU and compete for the men’s basketball team beginning with the 2023-24 season.
A native of Durham, N.C., Pettiford Jr. joins the Pirates after spending his first two collegiate seasons at the University of Kansas. During the 2022-23 season, the 6’1 guard played a key role in the Kansas guard rotation, competing in 32 contests and shooting 53% from the field as the Jayhawks won the Big 12 regular season title. Pettiford’s Thanksgiving Day game-winning buzzer beater versus Wisconsin helped the Jayhawks advance to the championship game of November’s Battle 4 Atlantis. During his freshman campaign in 2021-22, Pettiford Jr. was a contributor on Kansas’ 2021 NCAA National Championship Team.
Coming out of South Granville high school (Creedmoor, N.C.) in 2021, Pettiford Jr. was ranked a consensus Top 100 national recruit and the fourth-best player in the state of North Carolina. He earned N.C. Basketball Coaches Association All-State honors, in addition to setting multiple records at South Granville High. Pettiford Jr. is South Granville’s all-time leader in scoring with 1,944 career points, assists (615) and steals (288). Pettiford’s final high school game was played in Minges Coliseum, where he scored 28 points in the 2A Regional Semifinal versus Farmville Central.
“Bobby is an explosive, dynamic point guard with a team-first, winning mentality. He possesses the ability to create for himself and others and takes pride in competing on both ends of the floor as a two-way guard,” Schwartz said. “He has been part of great success everywhere he’s been and more importantly has an incredible basketball future ahead of him. What impressed us most about Bobby is his natural feel and understanding of what it takes to be a leader from the point guard position. We are so excited to welcome Bobby Jr., his mother Wanda and father Bob Sr. into the ECU Basketball family and Greenville community.”
Faison joins East Carolina for his first collegiate season after competing at Goldsboro High School where he averaged 24.8 points and 12.7 rebounds a game as a senior and led the Cougars to a 28-3 record and an appearance in the NCHSSAA Class 2A eastern regional championship game. The 6-6 wing was also named the Terry Walls Holiday Invitational MVP in December of the 2022-23 season. The Goldsboro, N.C. native was a double-double machine during his junior season as well, averaging 26.5 points and 15.7 boards a game. Faison scored over 1,500 points in his time at Goldsboro and was two-time NCBCA all-state and two-time NCBCA District Three Player of the Year. In Faison’s final high school performance, he scored 52 points in the ENC Senior All-Star Game. The game was comprised of the top 24 seniors in Eastern North Carolina, and Faison’s 52-point effort set the all-star game scoring record.
“Ta’Korrie is an elite high school talent and a tremendous young man. We could not be more excited about his future as a Pirate,” Schwartz said. “His addition brings immediate character, athleticism and scoring to our program. Coming from a rich basketball tradition at Goldsboro High School, Ta’Korrie has been extremely well coached by Coach Jamaal Croom. Pirate Nation will be very excited come basketball season to see Ta’Korrie’s ability.”
The Pirates are looking to build off the momentum of Schwartz’s first year at the helm that saw ECU win its most games since the 2013-14 season and tie for its most conference wins since joining the American prior to the start of the 2014-15 season.