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Bona gets needed point-guard depth with ranked Canadian recruit, Nelson Kaputo

St. Bonaventure gave itself a much-needed second option at point guard Thursday with the signing of Canadian Nelson Kaputo.

The 6-foot-1 Kaputo is a left-hander who was ranked No. 8 among 2016 Canadian prospects by North Pole Hoops. He played for Canada’s under-17 national team, helped his St. Michael’s College secondary school team to a 48-1 record.

The Bonnies needed a point guard to back up starter Jay Adams.

“We are ecstatic to have Nelson join our program,” said St. Bonaventure coach Mark Schmidt. “He's a consummate point guard … a pass-first point guard with a great feel for the game. He's an attacker and a playmaker on the floor.”

Last season Bona had to shift star shooting guard Marcus Posley to the point when Adams was injured late in the season.

“Nelson gives us depth,” Schmidt said. “We won't have to shift Marcus to the point guard if something happens to Jay – we can keep him at his natural position. He really gives us more flexibility. Maybe we'll play all three of them together at times. It's just a good situation to have more depth.”

Kaputo, from Toronto, helped St. Michael’s to two Ontario Provincial titles in the past three years. He also played for a quality AAU program, CIA Bounce.

“One of the main things we look for in recruiting is kids who come from successful programs, and Nelson has always delivered when he's been in pressure situations,” Schmidt said. “He knows the sacrifices and dedication it takes to be successful.”

Among the schools previously reported to have offered Kaputo scholarships were Richmond, Canisius and North Carolina-Central. Kaputo gave an oral commitment to Bona in May. He could have returned to St. Michael’s for another year under the Canadian system, which is why he was ranked among 2016 prospects.

Kaputo becomes the fourth new member of the Bonnies. He joins junior college swingman Courtney Stockard, freshman forward Derrick Woods and freshman swingman LaDarian Griffin. Bona was 18-13 last year.

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