CULLOWHEE, N.C. - Western Carolina men’s basketball head coach Larry Hunter announced the signing of Hayesville, N.C., native Josh Cottrell Wednesday afternoon. The Cottrell family has a long history at Western Carolina as Josh’s grandfather, Steve Cottrell, led the WCU men’s basketball program from 1977-1987 and his uncle, Todd Cottrell, competed on the WCU football team from 1987-89.
“We are very pleased and excited to be adding Josh Cottrell to our basketball program and the Western Carolina University community,” said Hunter. “We feel fortunate to be adding another player to our program that is not only a very good player, but also an exceptional student with tremendous character and leadership traits. He will arrive on campus next summer with over a year of college credits. We plan on adding two more players to this class in the spring signing period.”
Cottrell will complete his prep career this season but already has a number of accolades. He is a three-time All-Smoky Mountain Conference selection including an honorable mention as a freshman. He has also been honored by the Asheville Citizen-Times twice with All-Western North Carolina team selections. This past season, he was a first team All-District honoree and was named the Hayesville High School Male Athlete of the Year.
On the court for the Yellow Jackets, Cottrell scored a school record 704 points last season while also setting the single game record with 46 points. Over the season he averaged 28.1 points, 7.4 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 3.0 steals per game for Hayesville. As a sophomore he scored 17.9 points per contest while helping lead the Yellow Jackets to a Smoky Mountain Conference title and a 23-5 record. In only three seasons at Hayesville, Cottrell has already scored 1,323 career points.
“Josh is having a tremendous high school career,” said Hunter. “Because of our close relationship with the Hayesville High School program, we have closely monitored Josh’s development as a player for many years. Josh is a very talented guard who has the size, skills and versatility to be a point or combo guard in our program. He is an exceptional shooter and scorer in a strong powerful body. He has the necessary poise, ball handling, vision, and passing skills to be a collegiate guard. However, two of the things we like most about Josh are his competitive toughness and his high basketball IQ. Being the son of a coach and the younger brother of a college player, Josh has an excellent understanding of the game and the commitment required to be a special college player. He has been a four year starter and impact player on his high school and AAU teams.”
Cottrell, whose older brother, Zach, is a forward at Appalachian State, will join the Catamounts this summer in preparation for the 2018-19 season.