Pettigrew Goes to WKU

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Steffphon Pettigrew, The Associated Press' Kentucky boys high school player of the year, has signed to play for Western Kentucky next season.

The 6-foot-5 forward averaged 33 points and 13 rebounds for Elizabethtown High School last season.

Pettigrew said regular contact with Hilltoppers coach Darrin Horn was one of the big reasons he decided on Western.

"You don't get that from a lot of college coaches," he said. "I wanted to go somewhere it felt like I was wanted."

It also helped that Western's campus is about a one-hour drive south from Elizabethtown.

Xavier, Kentucky, Georgia, Duquesne and Miami were some of the other schools that showed interest in Pettigrew, who said making the decision takes a big weight off his shoulders.

"I can enjoy the rest of high school without somebody asking me where I'm going every minute," he said.

Pettigrew is the first Kentucky Mr. Basketball to sign with the Hilltoppers since Steve Miller joined the program in 1984 out of Lexington Henry Clay High School, according to a statement from Western Kentucky.

The Hilltoppers were 22-11 overall last season.

Last year, the Hilltoppers signed guard A.J. Slaughter of Shelby County High School. Slaughter, like Pettigrew, was named to the All-State first team.

"Our recruiting philosophy is to focus on signing the best players from Kentucky first, and with Steffphon, I think we have done that two years in a row now," Horn said in the university's statement.

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