JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Aug. 13, 2015) – ETSU head men’s basketball coach Steve Forbes announced Thursday that the Buccaneers have added incoming freshman center Toriano Stokes (Memphis) to the team’s 2015-16 recruiting class.
Stokes, a 6-foot-8, 230-pound center, played his prep basketball at Memphis Westwood High School where he averaged 16 points, 14 rebounds and four blocks a game during his senior season. With a 7’1” wingspan and a 9’4” standing reach, Stokes had a dunk in every game during his final season at Westwood, even posting a career high six dunks in a single contest.
Named the No. 12 recruit in the city and a Class A-AA Best of Preps selection by the Memphis Commercial Appeal, Stokes also received Scholar Athlete of the Year finalist honors from that same newspaper.
“Toriano epitomizes the word student-athlete,” Forbes said. “He excels on the court and in the classroom. On the floor, his four-year potential is off the charts, and we can’t wait to get him on campus next week.”
Forbes and his staff had the opportunity this summer to watch Stokes, who played for the Memphis Hoopers and Team Thad on the AAU circuit. His AAU coach Harold Rivera said Stokes’ potential is significant.
“Toriano is a very intelligent young man that just started playing basketball two years ago,” Rivera said. “Once he learns the whole game he has a chance of being very special. He once wanted to be an astronaut until he found out there was a height limit.”
Stokes said ETSU was the perfect fit for him.
“ETSU is a great place where I can develop as a student-athlete,” Stokes said. “It is far enough from home to get away, but not too far for me to grow as a person. Education is very important to me and I know it will prepare me for life. In terms of basketball, I feel my game can get so much better playing under Coach Forbes. With my size and aggressiveness, I feel I can really help inside and I love changing momentum of games with dunks.”
Stokes joins Cincinnati transfer Ge’Lawn Guyn (Lexington, Ky.) , Indiana transfer center Peter Jurkin (Juba, South Sudan) and forward Hanner Mosquera-Perea (Istmina, Columbia), as well as junior college transfers T.J. Cromer (Albany, Ga.), Nigel Holley (Wilmington, N.C.) and Abednego “Bennie” Lufile (Burlington, Ontario, Canada), and prep signee Shemar Johnson (Columbus, Miss.) as members of the Buccaneers’ 2015-16 recruiting class. Forbes and his staff still have one open scholarship to award.