BANNER ELK, N.C. --- Five student-athletes have signed a National Letter of Intent to attend Lees-McRae and play men's basketball in the 2014-15 season, announced head coach Steve Hardin Wednesday afternoon.
Joining Hardin's team and the Bobcat nation is Keegan Crabtree (Hillsborough, N.C.), Kendall Isler (Winder, Ga.), Cameron Redd (Garner, N.C.), Tyriq Royal (Kernersville, N.C.) and Zach Wilmoth (Dobson, N.C.).
"LMC basketball is on the rise. Adding key assistants Matt Hamilton, Daniel Waln, Keith 'Mister' Jennings to the program with these high character and high academic newcomers adds key roles to our current team," said Hardin. "We signed 'winners first' guys. We are on the right track in the process to be successful at Lees McRae."
Keegan Crabtree – Forward/Guard – 6-6 – Hillsborough, N.C.
Crabtree shined for four years at Orange High School in Hillsborough, N.C. while serving as captain during his senior season. Crabtree played under the direction of Greg Motley. He was the No. 2 overall player at The ROCK Roundball Showcase. He made The ROCK Roundball all-star team and was a National Phenom 150 Camp Invitee.
The Hillsborough, N.C., native made the Eastern Guilford Holiday All-Tournament squad on two occasions. He was named Big 8 Conference Player of the Year as a senior while being a second-team District 6 All-District representative. His high school was the sectional champion last season while earning the No. 1 overall seed and winning the Big 8 Conference.
Crabtree averaged 15 points, seven rebounds, three assists and three steals per contest during his time at Orange High School.
"Keegan is extremely long and can really shoot the basketball. Crabtree adds something we were missing last year with a pick and pop player. Keegan is a high character kid that understands what it takes on and off the floor to be successful," praised Hardin. "He was a highly recruited player and we are blessed to have him in our program. We are extremely excited about adding Keegan to our program."
He played on the UBA club team under Deshannon Morris and Hulio Evans.
He is the son of Keith and Carol Crabtree. His father, Keith, played basketball at Longwood University on scholarship while his mother, Carol, played as a preferred walk-on.
Crabtree has two brothers, Connor (14) and Kevin (6). He intends on majoring in Business Finance before earning his Master's degree in Business.
Kendall Isler – Guard – 6-3 – Winder, Ga.
Isler is a smooth-shooting transfer guard from Louisburg College. He averaged 7.5 points per game and shot 46.9% from the field as a sophomore. During his freshman campaign, he knocked down 50% of his three-point attempts. Overall, he appeared in 44 games, including 28 starts for the Hurricanes.
Isler is a graduate of Winder Borrow High School in Winder, Ga. He played under the direction of David Sokol. He was tabbed Ban Herald Player of the Week and named to the all-region team in high school.
He notched 27 points in the North Georgia All-Star game while averaging 20 points, six rebounds and three steals per contest as a senior.
Isler not only dominated on the court, but won the high jump regional championship before placing fifth at the state championship as a senior.
"Kendall was key component in Louisburg College's No. 1 ranking and success as he played for one of the best JUCO coaches in the country Mark Vanderslice. Isler is extremely athletic and will play the point and wing positions for us," said Hardin. "He can score the basketball in multiple ways but I feel his best attribute to our team is a 'WINNER' and a great defender. Kendall is the perfect fit for our FIRE system and we are excited to have him in our basketball program."
He is the son of Johnny Isler and Sylvia Jones. He has two brothers, Chase (16) and Cameron (12). He has one sister, Mya (13).
Isler is undecided on his major and wants to play basketball overseas and become an Athletic Director and/or sports commentator after he graduates.
Cameron Redd – Forward – 6-4 – Garner, N.C.
Redd comes to LMC from Catawba Valley Community College after two seasons. The Garner, N.C., native averaged 10 points and seven rebounds while earning a spot on the all-conference third-team.
Redd graduated from Garner High School and averaged seven points and five rebounds in two seasons.
"Cam brings post presence and leadership to our program. Redd is a great student with high character values on and off the basketball court. I feel he can bring instant leadership and understanding of what it takes to be a college athlete to our young team. Every time I saw Cam play for Catawba Valley Junior College he always was the hardest working player on the floor," praised Hardin. "Cam is a 6'4 strong post that also has good overall skills and totally embodies our FIRE system. We are excited to add Redd to the Bobcat family."
He played club basketball for the Garner Road Bulldogs.
Redd is the son of Carl and Rosalind Redd. He has a sister, Carla Jones (26) and brother, Carl II (23).
His father, Carl, played basketball at the University of North Carolina at Asheville.
Redd intends on majoring in Business Administration before earning his MBA and beginning a career in business.
Tyriq Royal – Center/Forward – 6-6 – Kernersville, N.C.
Royal is a graduate from East Forsyth High School and played under the direction of Mike Muse.
"Royal brings added depth and size to the post. We are excited to bring in Tyriq as he played for a legendary coach in Mike Muse," praised Hardin. "I feel like Winston-Salem area has been good to us with getting quality student athletes and with Ty we added another. In the future, Ty can really help us as his skills and body matures. Ty is a great kid and a good student. We need Ty to be a great role player and a rim protector this year and I feel he can step up to that challenge. We are excited to have Ty in our basketball program."
Royal is the son of Dewayne and Monica Howie. He has one sister, Asia Dunlap (24). Dunlap is a member of the Appalachian State track & field team.
Royal intends on majoring in Business Administration.
Zach Wilmoth – Forward – 6-5 – Dobson, N.C.
Wilmoth is coming off a monster senior season at Surry Central High School, where he averaged 20 points and 10 rebounds per contest under the direction of Ken Eiswald. He was named Western Piedmont Athletic Conference Player of the Year and earned recognition on the District 11 first-team.
Wilmoth played club basketball for the Carolina Bearcats under the direction of Marcus Wilmoth.
"Zach is a perfect student-athlete for our FIRE program. He understands what it takes in the classroom and on the court to be successful. He was Player of the Year in an extremely tough conference," said Hardin.
"Wilmoth is extremely athletic and smart player and can play multiple positions to give us added depth with our team. Zach can really shoot that basketball and also loves to play above the rim. We are excited to have Zach a part of our Bobcat family."
He is the son of Jeff and Lori Wilmoth. He has one brother, Tyler (25). He has a cousin, Ethan, who currently plays basketball at UNCA.
Wilmoth intends on majoring in Business.
Lees-McRae College, a four-year, co-educational liberal arts college affiliated with the Presbyterian Church, USA, is located in the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains of northwestern North Carolina. Being a year-round tourist destination, the area provides the best of a vibrant college community coupled with natural beauty and a rich history. Please see www.lmc.edu for more information.
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