Eddie Hayden, shown in action for WVU Tech last year, was recently drafted by the Panama City (Fla.) Breeze of the newly-formed American Basketball League.

The Panama City (Fla.) Breeze of the newly-formed American Basketball League (ABL) has drafted former WVU Tech men’s basketball standout Eddie Hayden.

The Breeze is one of 12 teams which will participate in the ABL’s inaugural season. The league will be divided into two divisions in Texas and Florida. ABL owners believe the league will be able to compete with the NBA’s D-League as a top minor league system.

Hayden, a 6-foot-7 forward from Columbus, Ohio, was the fourth pick in the second round of the draft. In all, 48 players were drafted in four rounds.

He led WVU Tech in rebounding (7.9 per game) and was second in scoring (14.7 per game) during the 2011-2012 season as the Golden Bears were a Mid-South Conference power.

“Eddie worked extremely hard all summer to market himself professionally to take his game to the next level,” said head coach Bob Williams.

“We are very happy for him and this exciting opportunity.”

Hayden played three years at NCAA Division I Coppin State University before transferring to Tech for his senior season.

“Tech was a great experience for me, and it helped me get focused for what I needed to do to accomplish my goal of playing professional basketball,” said Hayden. “This opportunity with the ABL will open up doors for me in the future, and I am ready to go to work this season.”

The Panama City Breeze opens the season on Saturday, Jan. 19 against the Ft. Lauderdale Sharks.

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