Wilmington Men’s Basketball Coach Mike Gallagher Brings in 12 Student-Athletes for this Year’s Recruiting Class
Wednesday, September 18, 2013 - Newark, Del.
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The 2013 Wilmington University men's basketball recruiting class. Copyright 2013; Wilmington University. All rights reserved.Junior transfer Neil Thompson makes its official in becoming a Wildcat. Copyright 2013; Wilmington University. All rights reserved.
Entering his fifth season at the helm of the Wilmington University men’s basketball program in 2013-14, head coach Mike Gallagher welcomes 12 new student-athletes to the program, including the NJCAA Division III National Player of the Year.
Highlighting the year’s recruiting class is Neil Thompson, the NJCAA Region XIX and Division III Player of the Year out of Brookdale Community College in Lincroft, N.J. Thompson helped lead the Jersey Blues to a Region XIX, District 6, and a NJCAA Division III Men’s Basketball National Championship last season as a sophomore, the first in program history.
Thompson was named to the National Championship All-Tournament Team after shooting 42 percent (14-of-33) in the three games, adding a perfect 14-of-14 from the free throw line to score 43 points in the tournament. He also added eight steal on the way to the National Championship. Thompson helped lead the team to a 33-1 overall record in 2012-13.
Coming from Monmouth Regional High School in Tinton Falls, N.J., Thompson helped lead his 2008 squad to a 23-4 overall record, earning the Group 3 Championship. He currently holds the school’s record for points (1,244) and steals (350).
Joining Thompson from other colleges are transfers Nicholas Doolin, Tavaune Griffin, Ryan, LeBoon, and Kevin Ohen.
Doolin comes to Wilmington after a season at Frederick Community College, helping the team to a 20-9 overall record, reaching the semifinals of the MDJUCO Tournament. Doolin, a 6-0 guard from Philadelphia, appeared in 21 games last year, averaging 1.3 points and 1.0 assists per contest.
Griffin joins the Wildcats after a season at NCAA Division III Neumann University in Aston, Pa. The 6-7 forward appeared in all 27 games for the Knights as a freshman, making 26 starts. Griffin was third on the team with 10.8 points per game, and second on the team by averaging 7.6 rebounds a contest. The Knights went 13-14 overall a season ago. He helped his Chester High School team to a perfect 32-0 record as a senior in 2011-12.
LeBoon spent two seasons at Delaware County Community College, leading the team to a NJCAA Region XIX Tournament second round appearance last year. The 6-8 center appeared in 24 games, making 19 starts as a sophomore, and averaged 2.5 points, and 2.6 rebounds a game. LeBoon went to Ridley High School in Folsom, Pa.
After playing a season at Brookdale CC, Ohen went to Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla., last season. The 6-4 guard appeared in 21 contests for the Fighting Knights, making 12 starts. Ohen averaged 8.3 points and 4.9 rebounds in 18 minutes per game last year. Ohen played Delaware Valley Regional and NIA Prep School in Newark, N.J., prior to his collegiate experience.
Also coming into Wilmington and coming fresh out of high school to join the Wildcats for the 2013-14 season is Dwayne Dixon, Eric Gilchrist, Kevin Johnson, Arthur Jordan, Paul Moore, Nawab Nisar, and Tyaire Ponzo-Meek.
Dixon joins the Wildcats after a successful career at Newark Tech High School in Newark, N.J. The 6-6 guard and forward was named to the 2011 Jingle Bells Jubilee All-Tournament Team. He helped lead his Newark Tech team to a 20-10 overall record in 2011-12.
A local product out of Christiana High School, Gilchrist joins the Wildcats after four seasons as a guard at Christiana. He was named All-Conference Consideration during his time in high school, while also being a part of the team’s track and field squad. He Raced to a Blue Hen Conference Championship in the 400m in high school.
Johnson joins the Wildcats after playing four years at Hempfield High School in Lancaster, Pa. He helped lead the team to a 29-2 overall record and a League Championship as a freshman in 2009-10, finishing as District 3 Runners-Up. The 6-2 guard was named First Team All-League his past three seasons at Hempfield while also being named a Section 1 All-Star during his senior year. He scored over 1,000 points at Hempfield.
Jordan played a season at Princeton Day Academy, in Laurel, Md., before coming to Wilmington for this upcoming year. He also spent a season at Washington Christian and Glenelg County before transferring to Princeton Day Academy. The 5-3 guard was the Valedictorian at Princeton Day Academy at graduation.
Moore played four seasons at Holy Spirit High School in Absecon, N.J. He was named First Team All-CAL and Second Team All-New Jersey State during his time at Holy Spirit. The 6-1 guard scored over 1,000 points in his high school career, and was named the MVP of the All-Star Game his senior year.
Nisar is another local standout, joining the Wildcats after spending two seasons on varsity at Christiana High School in Newark, Del. The 6-2 shooting guard and small forward helped lead the team to a 14-24 overall record in his two seasons.
Ponzo-Meek comes to Wilmington after playing four years for Howard High School of Technology in Wilmington, Del. The 5-10 point guard helped lead the team to the 2012-13 DIAA Delaware State Championship, earning MVP Honors during the Championship Game. The team went 20-1 during Ponzo-Meek’s senior season.
The 12 incoming student-athletes will look to help the Wildcats improve upon a 6-19 overall record from a year ago, missing the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference Tournament by one spot in the standings with a 5-7 CACC record.
The group’s ultimate goal will be to get the team back to the CACC Tournament, a position they have not been in since the 2009-10 season.
The 2013-14 Wilmington University men’s basketball schedule gets underway with the Bentley Tip-Off Tournament on November 8-9, where the Wildcats will play both Merrimack and Bentley during the weekend. The first chance to catch the Wildcats at the WU Athletics Complex will be on November 14 when they battle Millersville in their home opener.