East’s Ilic will continue his basketball career at ETSU | Sports

For those who have followed Morristown East basketball for the past three years, Braden Ilic’s name is one they have seen time and time again.

That’s because Ilic, standing almost 7ft tall, has been a star in the job for the ‘Canes ever since he arrived at the school in his freshman year. And, Wednesday afternoon, his name was back on the front of the stage.

Ilic, the 1,000-point scorer for Morristown East, signed Wednesday afternoon to continue his basketball and college career at East Tennessee State University.

“I worked all my life to get this opportunity to play at the top level,” Ilic said. “My parents helped me a lot through this process, and it’s just a blessing. I’ve worked my whole life for this.”

Ilic will join an ETSU team that has enjoyed a resurgence over the past decade as they have consistently been at the top of the Southern Conference year after year, winning two SoCon titles.

This dominance, coupled with a sense of family, is what sold Ilic to join the Bucs program.

“It felt like home when I first went there,” Ilic said. “Everyone was so nice to me and welcoming. It was just a good feeling when I got there, and I knew that was where I wanted to be.

Ilic will join the program coached by Desmond Oliver who is in his first year as ETSU head coach after a stint as an assistant coach at the University of Tennessee under Rick Barnes.

Oliver, despite being a new head coach, had an immediate impact on Ilic when he applied to join the ETSU basketball team.

“He’s a personal person and he knows what he’s talking about when it comes to basketball,” Ilic said. “He helps kids on and off the pitch and makes sure his players get help academically and in life. He’s just a great guy.

For Morristown East coach Alden Collins, Ilic will be attending his alma mater next year, which made this trip even more special for him.

“Braden has an incredible gift,” Collins said. “He was blessed with height, but he grew up with a ball in his hand and today it’s an accumulation of all the hours he’s been in the gym, all the hours he’s been in the aisle with dad. He worked hard to get to this level, and I’m happy to see him get there and go to ETSU where I’m a proud alumnus.

It has been a hugely successful career at Morristown East for Ilic, who has played significant minutes since his debut season. During his time, East made the region’s tournament every three years.

Last season, Ilic achieved a major milestone when he scored his 1,000th career point for Morristown East when he was just a junior.

Ilic has teamed up with fellow senior Micah Simpson for the past three years as the duo helped put Morristown East basketball on the map with victories over powerhouses such as Maryville, Knoxville Catholic, Greeneville and more. others.

For Ilic, his time at Morristown East was a blessing and something he won’t soon forget.

“This is my house,” Ilic said. “That’s where I grew up. Coach Collins and the coaching staff here did everything they could to make sure I did well here.

Before Ilic leaves for ETSU, he has one last season left for Morristown East. His senior season, where he has one goal in mind.

“Our goal is to report, definitely,” Ilic said. “Hopefully the whole season goes well and goes well. I would like to report for the whole team and everyone.

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