MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Jonathan Holton’s junior college coach said the West Virginia signee was a model citizen last season as he sought to salvage his college career after stepping into legal trouble as a freshman at the University of Rhode Island.

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Former Palm Beach State Community College coach Butch Estes calls Jonathan Holton “a big-time player.”

“He has really done well here behavior-wise, been a great kid,” said Butch Estes, who coached Holton at Palm Beach (Fla.) State Community College. “I’m real pleased with his progress.

“When he came to us last year, he understood the steps he needed to take to get his life, as well as his basketball career, back on track.”

Estes, who recently accepted a job as head coach at Division II Barry University, told MetroNews that WVU “really got a good one” in Holton. The 6-foot-9 forward signed his grant-in-aid Monday, according to a university release.

However, Holton must clear pending legal hurdles this month before he’ll be allowed to join the Mountaineers program. His disposition hearing on two felony counts of video voyeurism is scheduled for May 29 in Washington County Superior Court in Rhode Island.

The two counts of video voyeurism stem from March 2012 when two female students at Rhode Island alleged Holton captured video of separate sexual encounters with them without their consent — videos they learn about when the images were posted on Facebook.

That same week, Holton also was arrested again on a stolen goods charge after URI police recovered a stolen laptop at the player’s campus residence.

Those two arrests led to his suspension from the Rhode Island basketball team and subsequently his departure from the university. Holton transferred to Palm Beach State, about an hour from where he grew up in the Miami area.

It was there that Estes saw Holton enjoy “a phenomenal year” of basketball free from disciplinary incidents.

“He is a big-time player,” Estes said. “He can shoot the 3. He can post up. He can bring the ball up on the break. He’s extremely versatile. He’s very gifted and really has a very high IQ for the game.

“If he gets himself mentally right and continues to mature as a young man, I think he’s a pro prospect.”

Estes said Holton is on pace to graduate this summer.

UPDATE

After Holton signed scholarship papers Monday, WVU coach Bob Huggins issued the following statement:

“Jonathan is a prototype Big 12 forward. He can really score it off the bounce, play with his back to the basket, stretch defenses to make 3-pointers, as well as being a terrific offensive rebounder. He should give us immediate help on the front line.”

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Comments

  • bva24

    Metronews should consider doing what the Gazette and Dailymail did with their comments sections. People posting there have to use their facebook profiles. It's harder to troll when you actually have to put your name on something.

    If you liked guys like Joe Mazzulla and Cam Thoroughman, then don't judge this kid. Both those guys got arrested in college...Mazzulla multiple times if memory serves.

    • cutty77

      The Gazette,and Daily Mail are almost out of business.When the Auto Dealers pull their Add's from both papers they are DONE. Both Papers no longer have sections for WVU or Marshall Sports. These papers are almost Done.

      • Brian

        When the Gazette and Daily Mail switched to fb postings only, plus, having to pay to read their publications - well, the number of comments posted bottomed out OVERNITE!
        fb only postings took all of the "fun" out of reading online publications. I guarantee you the same would happen to WVMN. Finally, it's no coinicidence that WVMN has seen an increase in posted comments in the last 6 months- translation- more readers, better for paid advertising.

        • Habib Haddad

          And if you read the FB postings on the CN sites, the quality of discourse has bottomed out as well.

  • richard

    some people on here are sickning with the poison they spew!

  • big tom

    you're the marsha lover, not me,,, i 'm for wvu and i don't needto be in the athletic dept. to smell a skunk,,, and this signing is just another virus that will destroy our BB from within.

    • Alum

      Problem is tommy that all you ever smell are skunks. Between, lil' larry, billy, and you the negativity market is sewn up.

  • big tom

    i cannot for the life of me , understand how Oliver Luck approved this signing. How our athletic dept. fallen flat on it's face

    • Alum

      Did you ever stop and think that since you are not in the WVU Athletic Department you frankly don't have enough information to understand why the university signed him.

      Go back to marshall.

  • big tom

    huggins builds these guys up and then then next yr he tells them to go play someplace else..LOL\
    we are looking more and more like the criminal teams huggins fielded at UCINN...
    wow, bob, we're regressing and taking our won/lost percentage with it..
    let's hope this is huggs last yr, with all his social problems that have been documented, i think it's time to turn the page

  • kenobill

    We still need a point guard!!!

    • Wemakerain

      They are working on a point guard, last reports are the number one target just named WVU his leader after and official visit

  • JB

    Hey all you negative posters, there is a Mid-Major team in Huntington that can use your support. True Mountaineer fans know that Huggs is willing to give guys second chances, as should we all. However if he screws up he is gone. Lets Go Mountaineers!

  • L77

    Questionable.....

    There are 336 Junior colleges in America and this is all Huggins can come up with??? It's time we move on or we will stay in mediocrity!

  • Joe

    So what is the accountability of the University or coaches if a Morgantown resident is a victim of a crime from a player with this background who winds up?

    An honest question here. I thought about this since the U of Charleston story came out.

  • chas

    My " question " is : What else would one expect the coach to say ? Sure hope this turns out POSITIVE , we certainly have had some NEGATIVE results from others

  • Dave

    He can join another "pro prospect" laughing at the end of the bench. Aaric Murray has been laughing it up since he got here and got busted for possession of pot. i guess he never got himself "mentally right".

  • Big harv Lantz

    The kid needs a good break,,,we need a good player..Great fit.

  • leroy jethro gibbs

    the young man made very poor choices. i pray for his sake he learns from them

  • Gary Karstens

    They are always "behaving well lately" when they come to WVU.

  • Habib Haddad

    Let us hope his collegiate IQ soon matches up with his basketball IQ. What could possibly go wrong?

    • WILLIAM

      FACT - SWEATSUIT HUGGINS HAS BEEN A BIG FAILURE AT WVU. FIRE HUGGINS!

      • Alum

        FACT - billy is a raving, idiotic lunatic that always screams when he (it) posts.

      • Kevin

        I'm lost ,, some of the stuff you people come up with,, there's lots of teams out there that would like to say they've been in a final 4 on the last 3 yrs,,

      • tony

        did you like used to date his wife years ago or what happened? its not healthy to stay to unreasonably jacked up all the time. its may, about as far away as you can be from basketball season and you are still yelling in caps....