Photo Courtesy of Dakota Hamilton
BANNER ELK, N.C. – The Lees-McRae College men's basketball team announced that it has signed six student-athletes for the upcoming 2017-18 season. The incoming recruiting class features two Division I transfers, a pair of high school players, one junior college transfer and a transfer from a NAIA institution.
"We are thrilled about these new Bobcats," said Bobcat Head Coach Steve Hardin. "All six student-athletes are committed to excellence both on the court and in the classroom. We added a great mixture to our Dunk Mountain family that we believe will be critical puzzle pieces to our team this season and in the future. All six players are high character and are committed to the program's future."
Juwan Blanton – 6-1 – Guard – Forest City, North Carolina
- Blanton comes to Lees-McRae after playing at East Rutherford High School where he helped lead the team to a 29-1 record last season.
- Participated in the Blue-White All-Star Game.
- Named a top 50 recruit in the state of North Carolina by Phenom Hoops
Blanton on joining the Bobcats: "I chose Lees-McRae because I felt like it was the right environment for me," said Blanton. "I want to thank Coach Hardin for giving me this opportunity, and I'm excited to be a part of Dunk Mountain's future."
Dylan Gollihar – 7-0 – Center – Richardson, Texas
- Gollihar transfers to Lees-McRae from Division I Loyola University (MD).
- Graduated from Richardson (Texas) High School where he was a three-year basketball letter winner. Averaged 6.3 points, 10.4 rebounds and 6.3 blocked shots per game as a senior after posting averages of 5.6 points, 8.1 rebounds and 5.1 blocks as a junior.
- Two-time District 10-6A Defensive Player of the Year as a junior and senior in 2014-2015 and 2015-2016.
Gollihar on joining the Bobcats: "I'm excited to sign with Lees-McRae," said Gollihar. "I feel like it's going to be a great place for me to grow both on and off the court. I feel like the coaching staff genuinely has the player's best interests at heart, and that makes an environment that is easy to thrive in."
Quay Kimble – 5-11 – Guard – Shelby, North Carolina
- Played his high school basketball at Shelby High School where he scored over 1900 points in his career.
- Named a top 20 recruit in the state of North Carolina by Phenom Hoops. Played in the East/West game and the North Carolina vs. South Carolina All-Star game.
- A three-time conference player of the year, 2A State Player of the Year and increased his scoring average throughout his prep career (17 points per game (ppg) as a sophomore, 22 ppg as a junior and 28 ppg as a senior).
Kimble on joining the Bobcats: "I'm happy to find a home to play the game of basketball," said Kimble. "Coach Hardin and his staff are great and will help my teammates and I grow as young men on and off the court. I'm looking forward to having a great season on Dunk Mountain."
Jason Saintizaire – 6-5 – Guard – Park Vista, Florida
- Williams transfers to Lees-McRae from Western Oklahoma State.
- Played in 27 games last season and averaged 7.4 points, 2.1 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game.
- Scored a season-high 19 points against Hillsdale Baptist on Dec. 3.
Saintizaire on joining the Bobcats: "It's a blessing to come to North Carolina, play for Lees-McRae and Coach Hardin," said Saintizaire. "I'm excited for what's to come during the basketball season and in the up-and-coming future. This will be a year to remember in Dunk Mountain history."
Kamil Williams – 6-2 – Point Guard – Palm Beach, Florida
- Williams transfers to Lees-McRae from Division I Savannah State. He spent the past two seasons playing for the Tigers where he averaged 4.4 points per games in 42 contests. After his freshman season, Williams was named to the All-MEAC Freshman Team. His best performance at SSU came as a freshman against North Carolina A&T where he scored 20 points in 25 minutes.
- Rated as a three star prospect coming out of Park Vista High School in Palm Beach, Florida.
- During his high school career, Williams averaged 26.0 points per game and finished with over 2,000 points and was nominated for the McDonalds All-American Game.
Williams on joining the Bobcats: "At first I wasn't sure about signing with Lees-McRae," Williams said. "After I got up to Banner Elk, however, and got the chance to be around all the players and Coach Hardin there was no place I'd rather be. I can't wait to get on the court with my new teammates. I really feel like we're going to do something special."
Malik Wright – 6-5 – Forward – Greensboro, North Carolina
- Wright comes to Lees-McRae after transferring in from Brewton-Parker College (BPC) in Mount Vernon, Georgia.
- As a high school player, Wright was an All-State selection and ended his prep career with over 1600 points.
- Spent the past two seasons at BPC where he averaged 11.0 points and 3.5 rebounds in 40 games with the team.
Wright on joining the Bobcats: "Coming to Lees-McRae is truly a blessing," Wright said. "The coaches and staff welcomed me with open arms. I am amped for this new journey and looking forward to helping this team as much as I can."