Men's Basketball player Justin Bocot earns his undergraduate degree

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    Aug. 6, 2012

    CARBONDALE, Ill. - Southern Illinois University men's basketball head coach Barry Hinson announced today that fifth-year senior guard Justin Bocot has graduated with a degree in speech communication.

    Bocot scored 787 points in 117 games from 2008-12 and was the team's leading scorer off the bench last season.

    "Justin was a good player, and he has an opportunity to continue playing professionally, but you can't put a price tag on getting your degree," Hinson said. "This is a critical milestone in Justin's life and we wish him continued success."

    Bocot had one course to complete during the summer and credited Hinson for encouraging him to return for summer school.

    "Even though I didn't play for him, he was always positive and stressed the importance of graduating," Bocot said. "It was a lot of hard work, but I made good on my promise to my mother."

    The 6-foot-3 guard's mom, Heidi, maintained a strong influence on Bocot during his career at Southern.

    "He wanted to give up on school, but then he went on TV and promised me," Heidi said. "Coach Hinson and I reminded him of his promise, and I'm so proud of him for this accomplishment."

    Now that he has his degree, Bocot said he's close to signing a contract to play professionally in Brazil.