Bearden's Drew Pember signs with Vols

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Tennessee added some local talent to its basketball team Wednesday morning.

Bearden senior power forward Drew Pember signed his National Letter of Intent to join the Vols next season.

"Growing up as a kid, you want to play for your hometown," Pember said. "I'm just blessed, pretty much, with all my teammates, coaches. Everyone that's ever been there for me has helped me through this process."

The 6'9", 190-pound Pember should add some length to an already stacked lineup at Tennessee. Pember also fielded offers from Davidson, Austin Peay, and Florida Atlantic.

Pember was almost immediately sold on his official visit to campus. Now, his Vols are the no. 5 team in the country. He said he wants to add to and be a part of that success.

"It's crazy, it's a blessing," Pember said. "Coach Barnes, [assistant] Coach [Rob] Lanier, that whole coaching staff has given me the opportunity of a lifetime. To be able to show what I can do in front of people that have watched me ever since I played church league and middle school."

247Sports tabbed Pember as the fifth best prospect in Tennessee for the 2019 recruiting cycle.

Pember said he's discussed briefly with Tennessee head coach Rick Barnes how the Vols plan to use him, but he's not worried about scoring points or proving himself when he gets to campus.

"I just want to win," Pember said. "That's been my motto ever since I've played basketball. I don't really care about points or statistics or anything. I just want to help my teammates win."

Pember and his Bearden Bulldogs have their work cut out for them this season. After winning 38 games a season ago and finishing just short of the state finals in 2018, Bearden will rely on Pember and his senior class to give them the extra push in Murfreesboro.

And he'll enjoy watching the No. 5 Vols, his future team, in action.

"That's gonna be me one day," Pember said. "I got a lot of work to do. I know what I have to do to get there. I'm just looking forward to it. I can't wait to be at Tennessee."