UGA’s Mark Fox gives FATHER’S DAY gift: Rewards walk-on with SEC basketball scholarship (UPDATED*)

Georgia basketball Mark Fox gave away a Father’s Day gift worth thousands of dollars on Sunday.

YouTube rock star gets SEC basketball schollie (UGA SID)

YouTube rock star gets SEC basketball schollie (UGA SID)

Fox told walk-on Connor Nolte on Sunday to call his dad with the surprising news that he would be put on a basketball scholarship at Georgia.  Connor’s father was at UGA basketball camp on Sunday with another son, Milton High’s Evan Nolte, who is one of the state’s top prospects for 2012.

Here’s the story: Fox huddled with Evan, and he sent a text message to Connor, asking what he did for his dad on Father’s Day. Connor, who is out of town for the summer, replied that he had called his dad earlier in the day to wish “Happy Father’s Day.” Then Fox told Connor he could call again with some great news — that he was being rewarded with an UGA basketball scholarship.

“So I’m standing about 10 feet away from Coach Fox and Evan, they walk up with smiles on their faces, and my cell starts ringing,” said the father, Kurt Nolte. “It’s Connor calling. He said ‘I’ve got a Father’s Day gift for you. I don’t have to pay my own way any longer. Coach Fox just put me on scholarship.’”

“I … got very emotional after hearing the news. I’m so proud of my son. I thanked Coach Fox, and [Fox] kept saying, ‘Connor earned it. Mr. Nolte, he earned it.’”

The 6-foot-6 Nolte signed with Furman out of Milton High, playing two years before deciding to transfer to Georgia. He sat out last season under NCAA transfer rules, and will have two years to play for the Bulldogs at swingman. Nolte is a campus celebrity after creating YouTube videos of “trick basketball shots,” involving Fox, UGA football coach Mark Richt and former NBA All-Star Charles Barkley, among others.

“It was a tough decision to leave Furman when you’re on a scholarship, but Connor wasn’t happy there,” Kurt said. “He had a dream of playing major-college basketball at the highest level, even if it meant walking on. That’s what he did at Georgia. And now it has come full circle, with Connor back on a basketball scholarship.”

Connor’s younger brother, Evan, attended Georgia’s camp on Sunday with his father. Evan is a 6-8 junior and was a major contributor this past season at Milton High, which won the state championship in Georgia’s largest classification. The younger Nolte has more than a dozen early scholarship offers, including UGA and Georgia Tech, and is being scouted this summer by Duke, North Carolina, Florida and Stanford.

There is speculation that Georgia put the older Nolte on scholarship to lure the younger one. “Let’s be honest, this won’t hurt Georgia’s chances for Evan,” Milton coach David Boyd said. “It almost wouldn’t be logical if they didn’t try to draw Evan, with his brother already playing for Georgia. I think it helps, but that Evan will ultimately sign with the place that is the best fit for him.”

Connor was not at Georgia on Sunday to get the news in person. He is a summer intern at ESPN headquarters in Bristol, Conn.

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  • 79 comments Add your comment

    boots

    June 20th, 2010
    10:04 pm

    CMF is a classy guy. Good for the Noltes and the program. Go Dawgs!

    DAWG 1

    June 20th, 2010
    10:14 pm

    CMF is doing all the right things. We are very lucky to have the classy coaches, full of integrity, at UGA. Beginning this year will be an indication of really big things to come in future years.

    Congratulations Connor. Coach obviously feels you deserve the scholly.

    GO DAWGS!

    BarkingBulldawg

    June 20th, 2010
    10:58 pm

    Sucking up to the Nolte’s so Evan will commit. I love it.

    GATA Coach Fox!

    WartownDawg

    June 20th, 2010
    11:01 pm

    Way to go Coach Fox!

    We are taking over the basketball landscape in Georgia

    NickNolteGator

    June 20th, 2010
    11:08 pm

    What a class guy my a**!!!!!!!! Let’s give a scholly to a kid so his brother who is really the star will come play next year…hey Coach Nolte nice Father’s Day gift from CMF…get ready to hear from the NCAA to ask what else you got from the coach who is full of class and integrity!!!!! Probation here you come!!!!!!

    tenn.DAWG

    June 20th, 2010
    11:08 pm

    Billy O

    June 20th, 2010
    11:16 pm

    I don’t think he can get in UGA next year…..he’s a junior this fall. CMF is learning a lot from CMR.

    Michael Carvell

    June 20th, 2010
    11:34 pm

    @NickNolte: It was a smart move by Mark Fox. Let’s not forget that Connor — despite the talented little brother — was a legit prospect out of HS and did earn a D1 basketball scholarship to Furman, while getting looks from bigger schools, too. He can play a little. Also, Connor did a wonderful job generating excitement about UGA basketball with the YouTube videos. UGA ought to hire him when he graduates to help with sports marketing. Now do I think the scholarship reward had anything to do with Connor’s little brother being one of Georgia’s top rising juniors? Yes, I am sure it helped with Fox’s decision. But again, based on what some other Georgia’s players told me about Connor at practices, he will contribute on the court over the next two years.

    fan

    June 20th, 2010
    11:41 pm

    Enter your comments here

    UGA_2001

    June 21st, 2010
    12:04 am

    Fox has joined Richt as one of the classiest coaches in the country as well as being one of the best men associated with college athletics.

    The two represent exactly what UGA needs. Too bad we don’t have that in the UGA President’s House…

    pt

    June 21st, 2010
    12:43 am

    what happened with that small forward we were recruiting from california?

    Yellow Jacket Fan

    June 21st, 2010
    1:09 am

    Enter your comments here

    Yellow Jacket Fan

    June 21st, 2010
    1:10 am

    Computer went crazy so sorry for blank post. Classy move CMF. Maybe you can spread some class to the dawg bloggers

    trueUGAfan

    June 21st, 2010
    1:20 am

    @ pt, he’s going to St. Johns

    Yellow Jacket Fan

    June 21st, 2010
    2:12 am

    I’m such a classy blogger (See my post above). I love to come on my rivals blog and try and take the focus off of such a great story.

    blackprix

    June 21st, 2010
    2:25 am

    I’m a GT fan but I do like Fox. Think he’s going to do a nice job for Ugag. Good story as well.

    Amsterdam Sam

    June 21st, 2010
    5:47 am

    What a class act move by Fox – and a very smart one. Rewarding the mixture of sacrifice and the right type of ambition with a scholly, by golly – way to go Fox! And I thought only women were foxes.

    Amsterdam Sam

    June 21st, 2010
    5:53 am

    Yellow Jacket Fan – 2:12 AM post reveals you mind and your heart – real classy. I am so glad you aren’t the typical Tech fan and sad we have DAWG bloggers shaded the same color as you. It isn’t about where you went to school, you see – it is the state you are in and I sure hope it isn’t Georgia, for when I retire back there some day, I wish to breath fresh air – not the same old stale stuff you breath.

    Notso Fast

    June 21st, 2010
    5:58 am

    Good move to give Connor a scholarship in hopes of getting Evan. Good move. Can’t hurt. Go Dawgs.

    Yellow Jacket Fan

    June 21st, 2010
    7:13 am

    Hey Amsterdam do the state of Georgia a favor and stay in India after you retire from your Help Desk Job.

    Milledgeville DAWG

    June 21st, 2010
    7:15 am

    To all you idiots saying he is sucking up to get little brother, at least he has the sense to do it. Dennis Felton was not that smart. I sat in The STEG many times these past winters with small crowds, the wait is over-DAWGS WILL WIN 25 THIS YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!

    POAD

    June 21st, 2010
    8:41 am

    Mike: How can I change my BLOG name if you will not let me post?

    y

    June 21st, 2010
    8:42 am

    Oh taking over huh? I guess thats what finishing in LAST PLACE will do for you. Yeah you guys are rising to the TOP!! Wow UGA fans are hilariously delusional in more than just football. I think that Evan would be real foolish to commit to UGA before Fox actually wins and has a winning record in a less than stellar basketball conference…as of last year you finished in well….last place in that conference. Evan would be far better suited to look at Duke, UNC, GT, Wake, Kentucky, and etch…you know programs that have actually accomplished something in the sport of basketball…just saying.

    Amsterdam Sam

    June 21st, 2010
    8:53 am

    Tell you what, Yellow Jacket Fan – you should not presume to know more than you do and your racism is rife with the stink of rot. My ancestry is 1/8 Native American and 3/4 Eurepean, so why would you presume otherwise? Are all of your comments this accurate? As far as my job, goggle Sam DeLoach – you will see photos of my three story house on a bayou near New Orleans and photos of my fourth generation farm near Savannah, for out of the over 600,000 thousand Sam DeLoachs, I am, as of now four of the top seven that posp up – yes I am a real loser, just like you. Right now I live in Amsterdam and there are photos proving that, too. Tell, me, dude, where can I go to see photos of your sucess or failure. You know what they say about BS being talk – well, my unenlightened one, I walk the walk. Got that?

    Evansdawg

    June 21st, 2010
    8:53 am

    Amsterdam Sam

    June 21st, 2010
    8:57 am

    Make that 7/8 European – but you, Yellow Jacket Fan, probalbly wouldn’t have caught that anyway.

    POAD

    June 21st, 2010
    9:08 am

    Sam easy you don’t have to prove yourself, but if you must give us your true email address and home phone# to really check to see how you are. Not some info about a possible friend or boss.

    POAD

    June 21st, 2010
    9:10 am

    Why SAM as your Blog name just asking?

    Billy Bob

    June 21st, 2010
    9:14 am

    Jealous GT fan here. What a great father’s day present!

    Tell It Like It Is

    June 21st, 2010
    9:33 am

    Wow!!! Jawja is setting themselves up to be a real “feel good” power house in the SEC.

    DAWG Colonel

    June 21st, 2010
    9:50 am

    “Wow UGA fans are hilariously delusional in more than just football. I think that Evan would be real foolish to commit to UGA before Fox actually wins and has a winning record in a less than stellar basketball conference.”

    I don’t think he will have to wait very long. A Blind man could see the good things happening in UGA Basketball. Coach Mark Fox will elevate the basketball program to the NCAA tournament by 2012…you can count on it. Enjoy the ride….It’s gonna be FUN!

    Genuine or Gimmick?

    June 21st, 2010
    9:56 am

    I hope it’s a genuine offer, not just a gimmick like hiring a recruits Dad to be your assistant the year before his stud signs a LOI. Didn’t Harrick pull that off too while at UGA? Only time will tell. Milton HS is producing some serious talent the last few years, very impressive.

    Amsterdam Sam – Lay off the mushroom tea dude! Your posts get more personal and annoying by the minute. If you have a real life, you wouldn’t try to justify it to people you don’t respect. Just my 2 cents.

    Genuine or Gimmick?

    June 21st, 2010
    10:01 am

    BTW – If you do something nice for somebody else, but you will benefiting later from that act, is that a class act or a selfish act or both???

    DAWG Colonel

    June 21st, 2010
    10:02 am

    “What a class guy my a**!!!!!!!! Let’s give a scholly to a kid so his brother who is really the star will come play next year…hey Coach Nolte nice Father’s Day gift from CMF…get ready to hear from the NCAA to ask what else you got from the coach who is full of class and integrity!!!!! Probation here you come!!!!!!”

    Sounds like you are just annoyed that UGA is going to compete with Florida in basketball….before you make some juvenile comment, remember what CMF did last year (playing Florida) with very little talent.

    Mr. Nance

    June 21st, 2010
    10:16 am

    Wow…..there really are schools that offer a 2 for 1 deal. Very much like UT giving Nash a scholly and lo and behold Da’Rick decides he wants to go to UT too. Oh the irony of the UGA fans blasting every other school for such “sly & classy” moves.

    bruce mac

    June 21st, 2010
    10:31 am

    The Fox train commeth. CHOO CHOO All aboard. Congrats to Connor, it’s great to be a Georgia Bulldawg and by the way we could care less what Vols and Gayturd fans think of it.

    Starring Kam Fong as Chin Ho

    June 21st, 2010
    10:33 am

    Mr Nance, the difference is, both of these young men are legitimate prospects.

    Burdell, PhD

    June 21st, 2010
    10:38 am

    Kinda transparent, don’t you think? I read the headline and was impressed with Coach Fox…until I read the article and found out the recipient of the scholarship. I guess when you are last place in the conference you gotta do what you gotta do…

    Michael Carvell

    June 21st, 2010
    10:40 am

    @Mr.Nance: Unrelated to Connor/Evan Nolte and college basketball … in college football, you have a lot more room with your scholarship count to do “package deals.” If a college has 23-25 football scholarships, why NOT go for a package deal on one of your top 3-4 prospects on the board IF he has a teammate (Da’Rick Rogers and Nash Nance), brother (Alec and Zander Ogletree) or close relative (Nick Marshall and Lonnie Outlaw) …. who has other D1 offers or is borderline D1? You look at UGA football, and they gave a football scholarship out of the blue to a JC kicker from California (Brandon Bogotay) who appeared in only two games last year. They rewarded some walk ons with scholarships. If Da’Rick Rogers was last year’s No. 1 prospect in the state and IF Da’Rick Rogers was one of the top 3-4 overall players on UGA’s board, then why not offer Nance, too … even if he never plays. It’s a moot point now with Rogers/Nance, but I think you will see more “package deals” in the future … to secure the elite players.

    BUBBA GUMP

    June 21st, 2010
    10:42 am

    Good move by Fox…………………………This will bring more fans in also.

    y

    June 21st, 2010
    10:50 am

    “I don’t think he will have to wait very long. A Blind man could see the good things happening in UGA Basketball. Coach Mark Fox will elevate the basketball program to the NCAA tournament by 2012…you can count on it. Enjoy the ride….It’s gonna be FUN!”

    If enthusiasm and hope counted in college basketball you guys would be national champions. You do realize UGA’s basketball program has not gotten an at large bid to the NCAA tourney this century. 2001 and 2002 would have counted but Jim Harrick got those two seasons vacated due to NCAA infractions. 2008…we lucked up a won the SEC tourney…in one of the weakest years for SEC basketball in recent memory. That is all UGA has won since 1997, I dont understand why a last place finish last year points to anything changing. I am a UGA law grad, and I have yet to see anything that makes me excited about Mark Fox’s teams…they had terrible fundamentals last year and missed free throws like a Paul Hewitt coached team. If Fox seriously wants to compete with ACC and other SEC programs…like GT, Duke, UF, and UK…we need to recruit talent like them. I’m sorry but 3 star players, like the ones in this years class Marcus Thornton included, are not going to cut it. Fox will find out just how hard it is to recruit for UGA basketball…that’s why Harrick had to cheat. UGA is like the Northwestern of SEC basketball…

    schmeckdawg

    June 21st, 2010
    10:50 am

    GREAT CALL UGA_2001! ADAMSoory Dog is a wothless pile and I just wish the gutless regents who are afraid of don leeburn would man up and get adams the hell out of Athens. I think what he did and what he continues to do by not letting Sanford Stadium have something with Coach Dooley’s name on it is low rent and deplorable!

    JB

    June 21st, 2010
    11:00 am

    y – You say you are a UGA grad but you are obviously not one that watched them play. Did you know that they beat IL, UT, GT and Vandy? Do you know that they have the bulk of that squad back along with a stud transfer and a great recruiting class?

    My guess is you are NOT a grad but one of the many that are making the bitterness and envy of the direction this program is headed in in, palpable.

    HBTD!!!

    schmeckdawg

    June 21st, 2010
    11:06 am

    JB, didn’t we also beat the gaytors in A-Town?

    GATA!!!!!!!!!

    y

    June 21st, 2010
    11:11 am

    JB…I watched them beat a few good teams…but I also watched them lose to some bad ones. Such as Wofford, UAB, St Johns, Arkansas, and even LSU(2-14 in the SEC last year). I am a UGA law grad…but an FSU grad and fan first. I follow UGA sports regularly and want them to win, but I have been following UGA basketball long enough to understand why this program has not been successful. There has always been something fundamentally wrong with the UGA basketball program….FSU basketball is the same way in many respects….If my pessimism makes me less of a fan than so be it.

    Greensboro, Georgia

    June 21st, 2010
    11:38 am

    —————————————–
    ……..Nesbitt for Heisman……..
    —————————————–

    Original JB

    June 21st, 2010
    11:39 am

    JB – So your satisfied with LAST PLACE as long as you have 3 quality wins. Under 500 in a weak conference, not even an NIT bid. But you’re happy? Now I know why attendance at BBall games averages 832 paying fans.

    YouCanTellWhenSomeoneisJealous

    June 21st, 2010
    12:16 pm

    It is so funny to see people bashing a good story. You can tell how Jealous they are it usualy is reflecting that they don’t feel their program is really that good. If it was they wouldn’t have to bash another program they could just point to theirs. But that is the way life is. The more a school or team gets bashed usually the better they are, soooo Keep on bashing Tech Fans, it just shows how Jealous you are.

    BTW, every school with common sense tries to get good relationships with families to recruit the other sibling. You see schools all the time giving scholarships to one kid to help recruit another. You see schools give scholarships to a friend to recruit another best friend. The great thing about this is that this Kid actually earned it. He works hard and plays hard. Now he will play even harder knowing what he earned.

    UGA's TRUE Basketball desires

    June 21st, 2010
    12:29 pm

    Within two more years and hopefully, more continued Ws vs Ls, CMF and UGA plan on being a 19-11 or 20-9 type of team, year in and out. We want to win maybe 2 or 3 into the SEC Championship game, then get an invitation to March Madness. We know that we are not NC caliber …..maybe never. What we are doing is a step by step march toward respectability. To be in the NCAAs twice over the next two years would be fabulous and to advance, more so. That is all that we seek.

    CMF is on target for next year to have a decent 20-10 or 19-11 year with a win or two in the SEC tourney and trip to NCAAs.

    Go Dogs.

    dawggrl

    June 21st, 2010
    12:30 pm

    I think Connor deserved his scholly and would have gotten one even without his brother being such a hot prospect. Not saying it didn’t help, but Connor did get UGA national exposure with his blog and trick shots. Everything I have read about him points to the fact that he not only loves UGA but also is a great team motivator.