Photo Courtesy of Gerry Wall
BANNER ELK, N.C. – The Lees-McRae College men's basketball team announced the addition of eight new student-athletes that will join the program beginning this fall. The newest Bobcats include: Keith Shelton (Richmond, Va.), John Coats (Jonesboro, Ga.), Antoine Graham (Hinesville, Ga.), Taleik Pratt (Durham, N.C.), Dru Owens (Hampton, Tenn.), Oshaun Robinson (Salisbury, N.C.), Isaiah Pruett (Asheville, N.C.), Kevin Silver (Marion, N.C.).
Keith Shelton – Forward – 6-6 – Richmond, Va. (TPLS Christian Academy)
- Averaged 12 points and 15 rebounds per game in high school
- A member of the honor roll in all four years of high school
- Intends on majoring in business administration
Coach's Thoughts - "We are excited to get Keith on campus for this fall," said LMC Head Coach Steve Hardin. "Keith is someone who we can rely on to give us effort and intensity every single night. He is going to be a huge factor in the defensive end and on the offensive end he will be able to get to the line a lot with his quickness and speed. We look forward to the next four years with Keith in our program."
John Coats – Guard – 6-4 – Jonesboro, Ga. (Mundy's Mill HS)
- Averaged 10.2 points per game in high school
- Won Mundy's Mill Varsity Basketball Tiger Award for Outstanding Leadership
- Plans on majoring in Outdoor Recreation Management at Lees-McRae
Coach's Thoughts - "John is someone who can shoot, rebound, and defend," Hardin said of Coats. "He comes from a great program that has the same FIRE mentality as us. He knows how to play fast paced and knock down open shots. JC is going to have a big impact for us and we are excited about him being on Dunk Mountain!"
Antoine Graham – Guard – 5-8 – Hinesville, Ga. (Liberty County HS)
- Won 2016 State Championship at First Presbyterian Christian Academy
- Played for Shane Smith (First Presbyterian Christian Academy) and Julian Stokes (Liberty County High School) as a prep
- Proposed Health and Wellness Science major at Lees-McRae
Coach's Thoughts - "Antoine has been the facilitator for a state championship team and program," said Hardin. "He knows how to move the rock and get everyone involved. He is going to be a good addition to our culture both on and off the floor in Banner Elk."
Taleik Pratt – Guard – 5-8 – Durham, N.C. (Voyager Academy)
- Averaged 15 points, seven assists and five rebounds per game in high school
- Broke his high school's single season records for free throw shooting percentage (90%) and three-point field percentage (45%).
- Intends to major in sports journalism at LMC
Dru Owens – Guard – 6-0 – Hampton, Tenn. (Hampton HS)
- 2017-18 Conference Player of the Year
- Averaged 21 points, five assists, four rebounds and three steals as a senior
- Will major in education at Lees-McRae
Coach's Thoughts - "Dru is a knock-down, lights-out shooter," Hardin said of Owens. "He led his conference in three-pointers made as a senior. He will impact us by knocking down shots and stretching the floor for his teammates. The thing about Dru is that everyone is going to be worried about him knocking down three-pointers, that it will allow him to score off the dribble, which is an underrated part of his game."
Oshaun Robinson – Guard – 5-10 – Salisbury, N.C. (Salisbury HS)
- Averaged 11.9 points, 3.4 assists and a team-high 7.9 rebounds per game
- An All-Conference and All-County pick as a senior
- Intends on enrolling in Lees-McRae's Pre-Athletic Training program
Coach's Thoughts - "42-12 is Oshaun's record as the starting point guard for Salisbury High," said Hardin. "O is a proven winner and someone that we love to bring into our program to help us build on the success that we had last season. He is a quick crafty lefty who does a little bit of everything. One of the more underrated things about O is that he can be a lockdown defender."
Isaiah Pruett – Guard – 5-7 – Asheville, N.C. (A.C. Reynolds HS)
- Scored over 1,000 points in his high school career
- Averaged 27 points and five assists as a senior to help his team win a conference championship
- Will major in physical education at Lees-McRae
Coach's Thoughts - "Isaiah is a true scoring guard who can score at all three levels," said Hardin "He is extremely crafty when he gets into the lane and does a great job getting his teammates involved. IP is a small guard but he does not play like it at all!"
Kevin Silver – Guard – 6-0 – Marion, N.C. (McDowell HS)
- 17.6 point per game scorer and shot 40 percent from beyond the arc as a prep
- An All-Conference, All-Tournament and a Western North Carolina Blue-White All Star
- Undeclared major at LMC
Coach's Thoughts - "Kevin had a great season last year and helped lead his high school to a 21-7 record," Hardin said of Silver. "He is an outstanding shooter, and a does a really good job getting to the foul line. We are looking forward to the addition of Kevin to our program!"