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Monday, Apr. 21, 2014

Flannigan signs to play basketball at Lafayette

Friday, November 12, 2010

(Photo)
Dexter's Alan Flannigan talks to those in attendance at his signing of a letter of intent to play basketball at Lafayette College on Wednesday afternoon at the Bearcat Event Center.
(Brent Shipman, Staff)
DEXTER -- Even before his senior basketball season has started, Dexter's Alan Flannigan has decided where he wants to spend his collegiate career.

Wednesday, in front of family, friends and coaches at the Bearcat Event Center, Flannigan signed his National Letter of Intent to play at Lafayette College in Easton, Penn.

"After seeing a practice I noticed how (Leopards coach Fran) O'Hanlon structures the practice and how efficient they are in the things they do," Flannigan said. "I knew in a situation like that I would get tremendously better throughout my four years.

"Also the level of education I'll get there is tremendous and that's just something I couldn't pass up."

Flannigan is coming off a junior season where he averaged 20 points-per-game, 8.9 rebounds and a little over two blocks a game.

In Lafayette College, he'll be joing a Division I program that competes in the Patriot League against, among others, Army, Navy, Holy Cross and Bucknell.

Among other schools Flannigan said he was considering were Arkansas State, the United States Military Academy, Maryville and Quincy University.

With choosing where to play college ball such an big decision, Dexter Bearcat coach Rob Nichols said he was glad to see Flannigan come in to his senior year without the added pressure of looking for a college scholarship.

"I know the kind of kid Alan is," Nichols said. "I know this would weigh heavily on his mind. It's a great academic school, he'll have a chance to get in the NCAA Tournament and it's a place that fits him well.

"(Lafayette) plays a style that fits him so I think it's a good fit for him. If he can get a good fit and get it in the early signing period, you just can't beat that."

Helping matters for Flannigan is the fact the Southeast Missouri is already represented on the Leopards squad as former Notre Dame star Ryan Willen is currently a junior on the team.

"When I went out there on my visit he was my host," Flannigan said. "They put me with Ryan and we got along great. Him having so much success there will help me out I think. He can teach me how to make the transition to college basketball and make sure I do what the coaches say."

It was also Willen's success at Lafayette, averaging 12.2 points-per-game last season, that helped Flannigan get the attention of the Leopards coaching staff.

"(Willen) and I played for the same AAU program," said Flannigan. "So the director and coaches with Gateway had the connection there and made the phone call and told them they thought I would be a good fit in their system.

"They came to our tournaments and saw me play and I guess they like what they saw."