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Local athlete playing in Final Four for Wichita State

8:07 AM, Apr 4, 2013   |    comments
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Tekele Cotton celebrates after the Shockers defeated the Pittsburgh Panthers 73-55 during the second round of the 2013 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament on March 21, 2013. (Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

MABLETON, Ga. -- Kevin Ware isn't the only local athlete to play for a Final Four team.

Wichita State standout Tekele Cotton will face Ware's team, the Louisville Cardinals, Saturday at the Georgia Dome.

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Cotton graduated from Whitefield Academy in Mableton. Whitefield's basketball coach, Tyrone Johnson, describes the Wichita State sophomore as "a man of honor, as well as integrity."

Although Whitefield is known as a basketball powerhouse, the team never won a state championship while Cotton played there.

"We won the year before he came and the year after he left -- not because of Tekele!" Johnson said.

Still, Johnson sees Cotton as a role model for younger players, because he manages to stay humble even while helping his team achieve a national ranking.

The matchup between Louisville and Wichita State will begin at 6:05 p.m. Saturday.

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