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CHARLOTTESVILLE-Virginia men’s head basketball coach Tony Bennett has announced the signing of three players to national letters of intent with the Cavaliers. The players are 6-8 forward Darion Atkins of Clinton, Md.; 6-5 guard Malcolm Brogdon of Norcross, Ga.: and 6-7 wing Paul Jesperson of Merrill, Wisc.

“Darion, Malcolm and Paul are three promising additions to our program,” Bennett said. “They each bring something needed to elevate our team and are driven by a desire to help bring Virginia basketball to a high level. They all come from very good high school and AAU programs and fit in well with the mission of the University.”

Atkins averaged 10.2 points, 11.8 rebounds, 7.4 blocked shots and 2.1 assists a game last season as a junior at the Landon School. He had triple doubles in four Interstate Athletic Conference (IAC) games last season and was a unanimous All-Conference selection for the second consecutive season. He also earned honorable mention All-Met honors from the Washington Post last season.

Landon compiled a 19-6 record and won the IAC championship outright for the second consecutive season in 2009-10. In 2008-09 Landon was 18-5 and won the IAC championship outright for the first time in 48 years.

Brogdon averaged 20.6 points, 6.9 rebounds and 3.5 assists a game as a junior last season at Greater Atlanta Christian School. He shot 53 percent from two-point range, 42 percent from three-point range and 79 percent from the free-throw line. He led the team in scoring and steals (72), and was second in rebounds and assists.

Brogdon was the State 2A Player of the Year in Georgia, the Region 6 2A Player of the Year and the Gwinnett County Player of the Year for the 2009-10 season. Greater Atlanta Christian finished last season with an overall record of 32-1 and won the State 2A Championship.

Jesperson has started every game for Merrill High School since he was a freshman (68 games) and has scored 1,065 career points. He is just 60 points from breaking the school’s all-time scoring record.

As a junior in 2009-10, Jesperson averaged 20.5 points and 10.1 rebounds a game. He was a first-team All-State selection, a unanimous first-team All-Conference choice and the team’s Offensive Most Valuable Player. Jesperson averaged 15.6 points and 7.8 rebounds a game as a sophomore when he was a unanimous first-team All-Conference selection and the team’s Offensive Most Valuable Player. As a freshman in 2007-08, he averaged 9.7 points and 4.4 rebounds a game and earned honorable mention All-Conference recognition.

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