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Demons basketball signs 2 explosive guards for 2013
Nov 16, 2012 | 354 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Northwestern State has tipped off its 2012-13 men’s basketball recruiting class by signing two explosive guards, Delaware high school standout Sabri Thompson and Tyler Junior College’s Ta’Jon Welcome, Demons’ coach Mike McConathy announced Thursday.

Both 6-3 guards will join the NSU program for the 2013-14 season. McConathy said the Demons are looking to add to their recruiting class as the November early signing period continues.

Thompson is a preseason state player of the year candidate in Delaware at Sanford School in Hockessin, where he competes for coach Stan Waterman’s championship program. Sanford has won three straight state championships while posting a three-year record of 69-4.

Last season, Thompson averaged 14 points, five rebounds, two assists and two steals per game while making 50 percent (48-96) on 3-pointers. He was a first-team all-conference selection and a member of the Spanish National Honor Society.

“We feel very fortunate to have landed such a high-caliber student-athlete from the First State considering there are a lot of other quality institutions and basketball programs between Delaware and Louisiana,” said McConathy. “Sabri is an accomplished player with a terrific skill set of shooting, passing and dribbling that will help make our perimeter very formidable for years to come. He is an extremely athletic shooting guard with zip code range, and handles the ball and passes it like a point guard.”

Welcome averaged 20 points and eight rebounds in his senior season at Houston-Booker T. Washington High School, earning first-team all-district. As a freshman at Tyler JC last year under coach Mike Marquis, Welcome averaged nine points and four rebounds as TJC went 18-12 overall and 12-6 in the very tough East Texas Junior College conference.

“Ta’Jon is a very athletic guard that can run the floor fast as a deer, finishing with dunks on alley oops. He will shoot the 3-pointer in transition or off penetration and kickouts, and he uses his length and athleticism to be a defensive stopper. He will flourish in our system at both ends of the floor,” said McConathy.

“He has been blessed to have tremendous coaching at Tyler Junior College and will come to us with a great basketball base in place,” said McConathy. “Coach Marquis is a phenomenal teacher who builds a program the right way, and that means Ta’Jon will have an easy transition into the Demon basketball program. We are so excited to add another outstanding player from TJC. Trey Gilder was obviously a great addition to our program and I’m confident Ta’Jon will be impactful at NSU.”

Gilder was an All-Southland Conference first-team performer whose professional career is continuing. He played in the NBA three years ago with Memphis and has been in the final cuts of the Utah Jazz each of the past two preseasons, after earning NBA Development League All-Star honors.

Thompson was the 2012 Kappa Klassic Tournament MVP. In his best game last year, he scored 22 points, making 7-of-9 on 3-pointers and adding five rebounds in a 59-57 victory against second-ranked Hodgson.
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