UNIVERSITY PARK, PA.; Sept. 13, 2012 - Senior Penn State guard Nick Colella (New Castle, Pa.), who started six Big Ten games last year, will finish his career on scholarship as Nittany Lion coach Patrick Chambers announced the renewal of the grant the former walk-on was given for the 2012 spring semester. Penn State also announced the addition of junior Zach Cooper (Ijamsville, Md.) to the roster bringing Penn State's roster size to 14 players for the 2012-13 campaign. The 6-1, guard will join the team as a preferred walk-on with two years of eligibility.
Colella began his career at the Division III Penn State-Behrend campus before joining the main campus team as a walk-on prior to the 2010-11 season. He served briefly as a practice player with the Lady Lions in his first month on campus before going through the walk-on try-out process.
"Nick works tremendously hard and is a terrific teammate and leader for our team," Chambers said. "He seized the opportunity to play significant minutes last year and did some very good things for us. We are happy to be able to recognize his dedication with a scholarship in his final season."
Collella started six Big Ten games last year, including hitting three treys for nine points in 37 minutes in his first career start at Michigan State on Feb. 8. He made 16 threes in Big Ten games on the year, third-most on team, and posted two double-digit scoring games in Big Ten play while playing 16 minutes or more in 13 Big Ten contests and averaging 20.8 minutes per game in conference play. Colella hit a career-best 3-of-5 from three for a career-high 11 points in 24 minutes at No. 11 Indiana. He played in 26 games last year posting 2.7 points and 1.3 rebounds per game.
Cooper played last season at Gulf Coast State College in Panama City, Fla., seeing action in 12 games and scoring 11 points on the season. He spent two seasons at Gulf Coast, sitting out his first, and earned his associate degree from the two-year community college.Prior to Gulf Coast, Cooper played one season at Alfred University in western New York, seeing action in eight games and scoring five points for the Division III Saxons. A 2009 graduate of Urbana High School, Cooper was a first-team all-county and All-Gazette selection and an honorable-mention All-Met pick after leading the Hawks in scoring in his senior campaign.
Penn State will see its first action of the season on Saturday, Nov. 3 when it takes on Philadelphia University in exhibition action at the Bryce Jordan Center. The Lions officially open theseason on Friday, Nov. 9 when they take on St. Francis (PA) in a 7:00 p.m. tip at the Jordan Center.
--PSU Athletic Communications--