Aldrich adds four newcomers

Published 7:30 am Saturday, August 3, 2019

Just weeks away from the start of the fall semester for year two of his tenure, Longwood University Men’s Basketball Head Coach Griff Aldrich extended the momentum from a strong 2018-19 season to the recruiting trail with the addition of four newcomers to an already stout 2018-19 signing class, cited a Longwood athletics press release.

Officials noted in the release that capping his first full recruiting cycle since taking over the Lancers in March of 2018, Aldrich expanded his latest signing class to eight new Lancers with the addition of 6-foot-5-inch swingman Cameron O’Conner, of Roanoke; 6-10 center Ilija Stefanovic, of Novi Sad, Serbia; 6-2 point guard DeShaun Wade, of Virginia Beach; and 6-6 swingman Christian Wilson, Queens, New York.

“We are excited about the addition of these new players into our program,” said Aldrich, who in his first year as a head coach was named a finalist for the Joe B. Hall National Coach of the Year Award. “While they add a tremendous mix of skill, athleticism and size to our program, each of these athletes is an outstanding young man that will complement our program’s culture and be a tremendous addition to our university. I am excited to work with the young men and watch their development and growth in the years ahead.”

The release continued by stating that Stefanovic will join Longwood as a junior from Eastern Florida Community College in Melbourne, Florida, while Wilson will enroll as a sophomore after playing his freshman season at South Plains College in Levelland, Texas. Both of those new Lancers are coming off deep runs in the NJCAA National Championship tournament, with Wilson’s South Plains squad reaching the national semifinals and Stefanovic’s Eastern Florida team getting to the quarterfinals. Meanwhile, the East Carolina University transfer Wade will also enroll as a sophomore, and O’Conner will step in as a freshman.

The signing class already included four freshmen, the release noted: 6-3 point guard Heru Bligen, of Prince George’s County, Maryland; 6-7 guard Nate Lliteras, of Seward, Nebraska; 6-5 wing Bennett Mohn, of Austin, Texas; and 6-7 forward Leslie Nkereuwem, of Lawrenceville, Georgia.