Coming off of back-to-back conference tournament appearances, the Blackburn Men’s Basketball team looks to keep building on their success. New Head Coach, Austin Kirby, has announced this season’s recruiting class.
Allyn Bowdre II, TX (6’2” Wing, Waller High School/ Blinn College)
Allyn spent this past season at Blinn College, where he was a redshirt. During his high school career, Allyn was a two year Varsity letterman. His senior year he averaged 12ppg and was voted Second Team All-District.
“Allyn is a complete team player, very athletic, good shooter and tremendous leaping ability. Really enjoyed coaching this kid, but his ceiling for improvement is very high,” said Coach Claiborne of Waller High School.
Zion Henderson, AZ (6’7” Forward, Heritage Academy)
Zion was a four year varsity player at Heritage Academy. His senior year he averaged 20ppg and 12rpg, including a game where he had 44 points, 25 rebounds, and 12 assists. He leaves Heritage as the all-time leader in points and rebounds, as well as being unanimously voted 2A West Player of the Year.
“Zion is a hard-working, high-character, passionate basketball player. I have coached many kids in my years and not many have the heart he has. He pushes himself to be better every day, and he is a grinder. He has a very high basketball IQ, that mixed with his love for the game, makes him a very dynamic and powerful player,” said Coach Katz of Heritage Academy.
Jaedon Johnson, IL (6’1” Guard, Minooka Community High School)
Jaedon was voted team captain during his senior year for Minnoka. He averaged 6ppg, 3rpg, and 2apg while also leading the team in charges taken.
"Jaedon was a team voted captain for us last year. He led by example and was a go-to player for us in many regards. When Jaedon gets it going he can fill the bucket quickly and frequently. Jaedon is coachable, dependable, and extremely dedicated. He led our team in charges taken with 13 and that stat says everything you need to know about the young man. We always talked about leaving the places we go in a better place than they were when we arrived. I look forward to watching Jaedon join the Blackburn College program and leave it in a better place than it already is like he did here at MCHS. Good luck, JJ!," said Coach Cain of Minooka Community High School.
Sam Mount, IL (6’2” Wing, North Mac High School)
Sam finished his high school career with over 1200 points. During his senior year he averaged 19ppg, 4rpg and 2spg, including one game with a career high of 40 points. Sam was selected to three all tournament teams (New Berlin Turkey Tournament, Waverly Holiday Tournament, and Macoupin County Tournament), he was voted Second Team All-Conference, and was also awarded MVP at the Carlinville All-Star Game.
“He was a pleasure to coach, he worked hard and had a will to win! He worked very hard to change his body to go from being a good player to being a great player!” said Coach Wilson of North Mac High School.
Javon Stovall, OH (6’3” Wing, Kennedy-King Community College)
Javon comes to Blackburn fresh off of a successful year at Kennedy-King College. He averaged 9ppg, 4rpg, and 3apg while being voted Team Captain and Team Defensive Player of the Year, as well as NJCAA Region IV All-Region Honorable Mention.
“Javon was the hardest working player in the Kennedy-King College basketball program both on the court and off the court. As the team's starting point guard and leader, Javon brought a tough, blue collar attitude to the court everyday that really helped embody the culture we were trying to build as a program. With major athleticism and rugged toughness, Javon was our team's best defender. We are definitely proud of Javon in continuing his basketball and academic career at Blackburn College, and we are sure he will be a difference maker!” said Coach Dildy of Kennedy-King College.
Keshaun Surney. IL (5’6” Guard, Truman College)
Keshaun arrives at Blackburn from Truman College, where he averaged 7ppg while shooting 36% from beyond the arc. He proved his ability to shoot from long range with eleven games with three or more 3’s made, and three games with over five made 3’s.
“Keshaun Surney filled a role of instant offense for us this season. He was a plug and pop guy for us.He embraced a reserve, but critical, role during our 10-game turnaround from a year ago. If the moment called for him to hit a three, grab a rebound or be “first to the floor” for a 50/50 ball, Keshaun delivered. His accuracy from beyond the arc was a noticeable improvement, but I am particularly proud of his grit on the defensive end. For a guy that hit 57 3-point shots this season, his three most memorable plays in my mind all occurred playing defense: diving for a loose ball at Joliet to spark a run, taking a game-saving charge against Olive Harvey and a late-game back tip (that led to a steal) against Kennedy-King in the NJCAA Region IV playoffs,” said Coach Cooksey of Truman College.
Antonio White, Spain (6’3” Wing, Rota High School)
Antonio finished his senior season at Rota High School in Spain. In his final season he averaged 21ppg, 8rpg, 4apg and 2spg. During both his junior and senior year he was voted onto the DODEA Europe Basketball Championship All-Tournament Team, as well as the DODEA All-Europe Team.
“Antonio is true combo guard that is a student of the game with a high basketball IQ. I believe he has a high ceiling due to his length, athletic ability, and potential to add strength, due to his age (should be a senior in HS). He was a pleasure to coach because he gave 100%, and was willing to make sacrifices for the benefit of the team. Antonio will finish well around the rim and his shot is improving. I believe he can be an elite shooter when confident,” said Coach Anderson of Rota High School.
“A big emphasis for this recruiting class was to bring in high character guys, we believe that is exactly what we have with our newcomers. These young men are a great mix for our style of play and what we plan to accomplish. Our guards and wings are very dynamic and can impact the game in multiple ways, and our post has amazing potential already as a true freshman. The coaching staff is very excited for this year’s recruiting class not only for what they bring to the court, but for what they will bring to the entire campus. This group is competitive, hardworking and very talented. The future of Blackburn Basketball is looking very bright.” – Coach Kirby