YSU nabs JUCO transfers, Cle. VASJ standout Ward

Each of the junior college players has two years left.

YOUNGSTOWN — The Youngstown State men’s basketball team has added three players from the junior college ranks for the 2008-09 season.

Dallas Blocker, Kelvin Bright and DeAndre Mays will each have two years of eligibility with YSU. They join Ashen Ward of Cleveland Villa Angela-St. Joseph, who will be a freshman, as the Penguins’ newcomers.

Blocker is a 6-foot-9, 225-pound forward from Cloud County Community College in Kansas; Bright is a 6-3, 180 guard from Hagerstown Community College in Maryland, and Mays is a 6-1, 185 guard from Hill College in Texas.

Coach Jerry Slocum said all three players bring strong credentials to YSU.

“Dallas brings great size that is needed to our interior play,” said Slocum. “Kelvin is a great scorer and will add to our offensive game. DeAndre has great leadership, is a great defender and has a strong all-around offensive game at the point guard position.”

Blocker averaged seven points and five rebounds per game last season at Cloud County, helping the Thunderbirds to a 21-12 record. A native of Topeka, Kan., he was a third-team all-state (Class 5A) selection at Seaman High School as a senior. As a junior, he helped Seaman to its first state tournament appearance in 23 years.

“I loved the atmosphere during my visit to Youngstown State,” Blocker said. “The coaches were really good and they are people who will be able to tell me what I need to do to improve my game. They told me my best basketball is ahead of me and I agreed with that.”

Bright was honorable mention NJCAA All-America last year at Hagerstown. He ranked sixth in the nation, averaging 24.2 points per contest. A native of Silver Spring, Md., he helped lead Blake High School to the Maryland Class 4A state championship game his senior year, averaging 16.2 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.6 steals per game.

“Coming to Hagerstown this past year I wanted to make sure that I was going to transfer to a place that I would be comfortable with and make a big contribution,” Bright said. “I thought YSU was a perfect fit in both of those regards.”

Mays was a second-team All-North Texas Conference pick last year at Hill College, averaging 13.1 points and 4.5 assists per game for the Rebels. A native of Dallas, he was a two-time first-team all-district selection at Samuell High School.

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