7 men’s basketball players sign National Letters of Intent
05.12.2015 | By Amanda Booren
PASADENA, Texas – San Jacinto College sophomores Michael Carey, Jevonlean Hedgeman, Justin Hollins, Willie Mangum, Dana Raysor, Naiel Smith, and Donte Thomas have signed National Letters of Intent to continue their basketball and education careers at National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I institutions.
“I’m really proud of these guys, and our entire team, for how hard they worked on the court and in the classroom this year,” said Head Coach Scott R. Gernander, who just completed his third season at the helm of the San Jacinto College men’s basketball program and was the Region XIV Coach of the Year. “I know they are going to be successful at the next level, and I wish them all the luck as they pursue their bachelor’s degrees and continue their basketball careers.”
Carey, a 6-5 guard from Nassau, Bahamas (Lamar Consolidated HS), will play next year at Wagner College of the Northeast Conference. Carey played in 31 games, starting in 30. He was third on the team in scoring, averaging 10.9 points per game, and second in rebounding at 5.8 per game.
Hedgeman will make his way east to the University of Louisiana at Lafayette of the Sunbelt Conference. The 6-7 forward from Pearland (Pearland HS) played and started in 31 games this season, and was an all-Region South Zone honorable mention. He was fourth on the squad in scoring at 10.1 points per game, and led the team in rebounding with a 7.4 per game average, assists (2.7 per game), and free throw percentage (76.6 percent). He was also second on the team in steals at 2.1 per game.
The 6-9 forward Hollins (Houston / Trent International) will take his talents to the Western Athletic Conference and California State University, Bakersfield. He averaged 4.4 points per game, 5.3 rebounds, and led the team in blocks before suffering an injury.
Mangum (Richmond, Virginia / Marshall HS / Western Nebraska Community College), a 6-1 guard and National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) third-team All-American, will play next season at Eastern Michigan University. As the team’s leading scorer last season, Mangum averaged 20.6 points per game a mark that ranked 23rd in the nation, including 100 made three-pointers, which ranked 10th in the nation. He played and started in all 34 games for San Jac, and averaged 3.6 rebounds, 3.7 assists, and 1.3 steals per game. Mangum was a first-team all Region selection and first-team all-Region South Zone honoree.
Raysor, a 6-4 guard from Elizabeth, New Jersey (St. Patrick HS), heads to Delaware State University and the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. Raysor played in 30 games, starting six. He was sixth on the team in scoring at 7.4 points per game, grabbed 2.8 rebounds, and averaged 1.5 assists per game.
Smith is headed to Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, next year. The 6-4 guard from Brooklyn, New York (West Oaks Academy / Texas State University) played and started in 33 games, averaging 6.8 points and 4.4 rebounds per game. He was also second on the team in assists per game at 4.8. Smith was an all-Region South Zone honorable mention selection this season.
Thomas, a second-team all-Region and all-Region South Zone selection, will play next season at Arkansas State University of the Sun Belt Conference. The 6-3 guard from Washington, D.C. (Ballou HS / Hagerstown Community College) was second on the team in scoring at 12.3 points per game, and was second on the squad with 5.0 assists.
San Jac finished the season ranked 12th in the nation with a 28-6 overall record. The team earned a return trip to the NJCAA national tournament, which was the first since the 2006 season, and the College’s 20th overall appearance.
Tryouts for the 2015-2016 season are scheduled for Saturday, June 13, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., at Anders Gymnasium on the San Jacinto College Central Campus.
About San Jacinto College
Surrounded by monuments of history, industries and maritime enterprises of today, and the space age of tomorrow, San Jacinto College has been serving the citizens of East Harris County, Texas, for more than 50 years. As an Achieving the Dream Leader College, San Jacinto College is committed to the goals and aspirations of a diverse population of approximately 30,000 credit students. The College offers 186 degrees and certificates, with 46 technical programs and a university transfer division. Students benefit from a support system that maps out a pathway for success, and job training programs that are renowned for meeting the needs of growing industries in the region. San Jacinto College graduates contribute nearly $690 million each year to the Texas workforce.