JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (May 16, 2017) – East Tennessee State University men’s basketball head coach Steve Forbes and his staff announced Tuesday that Mladen (Muh-lah-den) Armus (Belgrade, Serbia) has signed his national letter of intent to join the Buccaneer program.
Armus played for head coach Charles Baker at Southwest Christian Academy in Little Rock, Arkansas, where he averaged 16.3 points and 12.8 rebounds, while shooting 60 percent from the field and 73 percent at the free throw line. The 6-foot-10 forward led Southwest Christian Academy to a 36-3 record en route to claiming the NACA National Championship. Armus earned NACA first team All-American honors and was also named MVP of the NACA National Tournament.
During his time in Serbia, Armus played for the KK Paritzan Junior Team. In 2014, Armus helped guide Serbia to a Bronze medal in the U17 World Championship in Dubai, while he has been invited to play in the U20 European Championship this summer.
Coach Forbes says Armus has a bright future and his international experience makes him college ready as soon as he arrives on campus.
“Mladen is a tremendous young man. He has great size and strength, and he possesses an intense desire to work hard and succeed,” said Forbes. “His experience this past year at Southwest Christian Academy, along with his vast amount of international experience, allows Mladen to be college ready when he steps on campus. He has a very bright future.
“Charles Baker has 20-plus years of Division I experience. He’s done an unbelievable job in a short amount of time turning SW Christian Academy into a nationally recognized program. Mladen received outstanding coaching this year from Coach Baker, Ron Crawford, and Marco Cole – who I coached at Louisiana Tech.”
Armus felt right at home during his visit to ETSU and like the family environment that Coach Forbes and his staff has created within the program.
“I felt right at home during my visit to ETSU,” said Armus. “I fell in love with the campus, the high-quality of academic studies that are offered and the organized student life. Coach Forbes has instilled a family atmosphere within the program, and that left a very strong impression on me, as did the entire coaching staff.”
Charles Baker, Armus’ head coach at Southwest Christian Academy, says he uses his size to his advantage and he’s an unstoppable player in the post.
“Mladen carves out space in the low post, has back to the basket moves, and he can score,” said Baker, whose team was ranked 10th in the country via the MaxPreps Independent Schools Poll. “He rebounds as well as anyone in the country for a player of his size. He’s played his whole life as a face-up 4, and I played him on the low block this past year because he was so unstoppable.”
Mladen had numerous scholarship offers including St. Louis, South Florida, St. Bonaventure, Fresno State, Washington, and Washington State.
Armus joins guard Bo Hodges (Nashville), forward James Harrison (Dallas, Texas) and forward Jeromy Rodriguez (Santiago, Dominican Republic) as part of the Bucs’ 2017-18 recruiting class.