The Grambling State University men’s basketball team just got taller, and stronger offensively with shooters deciding to choose GSU on NCAA National Signing Day (April 13).
“In our recruiting process this year we tried to address certain needs. With these guys we have met those needs,” said head coach Shawn Walker.
Marcel Thompson was the first to commit to Grambling, he is a 6-foot-4 shooting guard from Baltimore, averaged 18.7 points, six rebounds and three steals per game at Coastal Academy.
“Marcel Thompson is a shooter deluxe. Of this group, he is the best long range shooter and potentially one of the best shooters in the SWAC. He’s got good size and we look forward to him helping us in that aspect,” said Walker.
Joining Thompson is Drake Wilks of Harmony Grove High School in Benton, Arkansas. Wilks is a 6-foot-6 strong forward who averaged 11 points, eight rebounds, six assists and three steals per game in prep school and averaged a whopping 28 points per game with 14 rebounds and seven assists in high school.
This past season he attended Elev8 in Delray Beach, Florida, a Top 10 prep basketball team that went 25-9 in the last season.
Also joining the Tigers are Travious Fielding of Arcadia High School down the highway from GSU, and Ivy Smith Jr. of Rainer Beach High School, all the way out west in Seattle, Washington. Fielding was a First Team-All State player this season, leading his team to its first 1-A state championship.
He averaged 16.2 points, 3 assists, and 6 rebounds per game. Smith averaged 23 points and 12 assists per game.
Walker is excited about the first three 2016 signing class members.
“Travious Fielding is a big time competitor,” said Walker. “He is the guy that addresses our number one need of toughness. He’s a guy that will jump in your jersey, rip your heart out, and feed it back to you. That is who he is. He’s a great kid and a great student.”
Walker described Ivy Smith, Jr. as “a tough kid,” someone small in stature but a huge play maker. “He’s one of those kids where when you first look at him you say he’s too little, then when you watch him play you say he’s super-duper big,” he added. “He’s a dynamic player. He scores the ball and handles the ball well. He sees the floor. He will bring a different twist to our point guard position.”
Walker likes Wilks for a number of reasons, especially shooting ability. “He is a combo forward. He diversifies our team in multiple ways. He’s a strong competitor and he will play the 2,3 and 4 for us,” said Walker.
All four made earlier verbal commitments to Grambling State, and their commitments became a reality Wednesday when Walker received their official written obligations via fax in the university basketball office.