BULLDOGS INK FOUR-MAN CLASS OF 2017 TO NLI
SMITHFIELD, R.I. — Head coach Tim O'Shea is pleased to announce the signing of four student-athletes to National Letters of Intent to suit up for the Bryant University men's basketball team in 2013-14.
Joining the program in its sixth year of Division I competition and second with full NCAA eligibility are guards Daniel Garvin (Bethel, Conn./Bethel), Bosko Kostur (Melbourne, Australia/Hallam Senior College) and Justin Brickman (San Antonio, Texas/Tom Clark), and forward Ellis Williams (Columbus, Ohio/Columbus South).
"Overall, this class is what we had hoped for," said head coach Tim O'Shea. "It's probably the strongest class, in terms of athleticism and accomplishment at the high school and international levels, that we have attracted to Bryant. That's what you like to see — the recruiting classes, at least on paper, get stronger and more impressive each year."
Garvin, a 6-foot-8 wing player at Bethel High School in Connecticut, averaged 18 points, 11 rebounds, five assists and four blocks per game as a junior, earning second team all-state honors and First Team All-Southwestern Conference recognition. The 2011-12 team MVP at Bethel, Garvin plays AAU for New England powerhouse Connecticut Basketball Club, run by J.R. Hargreaves, under head coaches Ken Smith and Brandon Frame. A natural athlete with length and explosiveness, Garvin was named to the all-tournament team at the Adidas Invitational in Indianapolis last summer.
"Garvin is someone who we think has a tremendous upside due to his exceptional athleticism and length," said O'Shea. "He has a chance to become a very special player at Bryant."
With three Aussies current on the roster, the Bulldogs continue to find strong Division I talent down under, and the Class of 2017 is no exception. A member of the Australian Under-19 Emus Junior National Team in 2012, Kostur attends Hallam Senior College, where he was selected to the Victorian School State Team and the Australian School National Team. The 6-foot-7 guard from Melbourne played club ball for the Cranbourne Cavaliers, where he was a teammate of current Bulldog Declan Soukup, under head coach Luke Sunderland. Kostur also trains at the prestigious Andrew Bogut Basketball Academy, run by Sunderland. Given the Most Promising Player award at Five-Star Basketball Camp in Australia, Kostur will join his brother Dejan, who currently plays basketball for Idaho State, in the States this fall.
"Without question, Bosko is the most heavily recruited player to matriculate to Bryant University in our Division I history," said O'Shea. "He is a very accomplished player in his home country of Australia, and he is somebody we expect to have an impact right away."
A 5-foot-10 Texas native, Brickman is a four-year starting point guard at Tom Clark High School, where he is a two-time Antonian All-District selection, including a first team pick as a junior. A two-time all-tournament honoree, Brickman has led the Cougars to 75 victories over the last three seasons, including a 25-9 record last year under head coach Steve Sylestine. A participant in the San Antonio All-Star Game in 2010 and 2011, Brickman will suit up for the Bulldogs in 2013-14 where he will compete against older brother, Jason, who plays for Northeast Conference rival LIU Brooklyn.
"An excellent floor leader, Brickman comes from a great high school program with a real winning background," said O'Shea. "It is amazing that he is one of three brothers who all have been Division I point guards. He is someone who will bring leadership and a real understanding of how to win to the program."
A 6-foot, 8-inch power forward with the ability to see time at center, Williams is a four-year starter at Columbus South High School under head coach Ramon Spears. As a junior, Williams was named a second team all-city and second-team all-district selection and has been an honor student throughout his career. A well-rounded multi-sport athlete, Williams also adds varsity letters in football, baseball and cross country to his basketball pedigree.
"Williams gives us size and athleticism in the frontcourt and is an outstanding rebounder with a tremendous upside," said O'Shea. "We think he will certainly make his mark here at Bryant over the course of his career."
The quartet will come to Smithfield next fall to help replace the five seniors on the current Bulldog roster, losses that will include starting point guard Frankie Dobbs (Berea, Ohio) and starting forward Vlad Kondratyev (Nikolayev, Ukraine).