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Former Manzano hoops star T.J. Holyfield will transfer to Texas Tech

Albuquerque’s T.J. Holyfield announced via his Twitter page he will be a graduate transfer and play for the Texas Tech Red Raiders next season. (Via Holyfield’s Twitter page)

T.J. Holyfield, the 2014 graduate of Manzano High School who spent the past four years playing basketball at Stephen F. Austin, announced via social media on Saturday he is transferring to play this season for the Texas Tech Red Raiders.

The 6-foot-8 forward missed this past season with an injury and still plans to earn his degree from SFA, making him a graduate transfer and immediately eligible to play for Texas Tech, who played in the national title game last month.

Along with a picture of himself in a Red Raiders uniform with the word “committed” above him, Holyfield wrote on his Twitter page: “The journey continues in Lubbock! I’m happy to announce I’ve committed to the 2019 Big 12 Champions! Excited to be a part of the Red Raider family and ready to get back on the court again!”

He chose Texas Tech over fellow finalists Illinois, Oregon, Miami and Kansas, each of which had him on campus for official recruiting visits in the past month.

Holyfield was considered one of the most coveted graduate transfers in college basketball this year, not only because he is a veteran presence that can play immediately, but because at 6-8 his versatility on both ends of the court is uncommon.

As a junior in the 2017-18 season, he averaged 12.9 points, 6.4 rebounds, 1.3 blocks and 1.1 steals in 27 minutes played per game and was named to the Southland Conference All-Defensive team. He is SFA’s all-time leader in blocks and was the Southland Conference Tournament MVP in 2018.

He spent one prep school season at Elev8 Sports Institute in Florida between graduating from Manzano and playing at SFA.