Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
St. John’s lands junior college power forward Damien Sears
By ADAM ZAGORIA
St. John’s on Thursday landed a pledge from power forward Damien Sears of Western Oklahoma State College.
The 6-foot-7 , 230-pound Sears also considered Nicholls, Lamar and Grambling, according to his coach Ro De La Barrera.
“When I came on a visit there was no reason to consider another school,” Sears said after leaving campus Thursday. “Coach [Mike] Anderson made it feel like I was a part of his family in the first five minutes of me meeting him.”
He added: “He needs a dog on the court.”
Sears averaged 12.8 points and 8.6 rebounds last season while shooting 55 percent from the floor. He shot just 45 percent from the line.
“He’s as strong as an ox,” De La Barrera said. “He’s a bruiser. He was the top post player in Region 2. He’s a mannish power forward who can get dirty work done, rebounding , hard screens and brings physicality. He can drive to the basket and create space on the interior.”
St. John’s lost Sedee Keita to transfer and needed help in the front court.
Sources said L.J. Figueroa was still evaluating his options going forward.
Meantime, onetime St. John’s commit Valdir Manuel of Harcum (PA) College said Thursday he will return to Harcum for his sophomore season to become fully qualified. He plans to take more official visits in the fall.
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.