NEWBERRY, S.C. - Newberry College head men's basketball coach has announced the completion of his first signing class as a collegiate head coach. The Indians will bring in seven new players for the 2007-08 season.
"I'm very excited about the class we've brought in this season," Luther said. "I think we've brought in a lot of experience with the Division I and junior college transfers coming in and the freshmen have really surprised me in the first few weeks of the school year."
Three Division I transfers will bolster the Indians' roster this season.
Sami Badawi is a 6-10, 230-pound power forward/center originally from Zaragoza, Spain. He averaged 16 points and 12 rebounds per game at Cape Fear Academy in North Carolina during his prep career and comes to Newberry from the University of New Orleans.
"Sami is a great addition to our team," Luther said. "He brings much-needed size and a great skill set. Sami redshirted his freshman year at UNO, so he will have three years to play for us."
Stephane Bakinde is a 6-8, 205-pound forward from Yaounde, Cameroon. He played his high school ball at Montverde Academy and comes to the Indians after two years at Stony Brook University.
"Stephane is a skilled, athletic player who can play on the inside or step out and play on the perimeter," Luther commented. "He also brings experience to our team, having played the last two seasons at Stony Brook."
Another Montverde Academy alum joins the Indians from the Division I ranks, as point guard Vytautas Valiulis comes to Newberry from The Citadel. Valiulis played in all 30 of the Bulldogs' games during his sophomore season last year and had stellar double-digit scoring performances at the Big Ten's Michigan State and Iowa.
"This was a great pick up for our program," Luther said. "Vytautas comes from one of the top high school programs in the country and was a starting point guard at the Division I level."
One junior college player, Ty Overmyer, will join the Indians this year. Overmyer comes to Newberry from Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton, Ga. The team finished 11th in the nation last year with a 27-5 overall record. Overmyer averaged six points and five rebounds last year.
"Ty is an all-around tough kid who gives 100 percent every time he steps on the floor," Luther said. "He started every game last season for the ninth-ranked JuCo in the country."
Grant Domsic will join the Indians from Fork Union Military Academy. The 6-3 shooting guard is originally from oak Ridge, Tenn., and now hails from Winter Garden, Fla.
"Grant is a very skilled kid who can really shoot the basketball," Luther said. "He had a great year to mature at Fork Union, which has made it possible for him to step in and play as a freshman."
Charles Ndoloum is a 6-0 guard who comes to Newberry after winning a high school national championship at Montverde Academy in Florida earlier this year.
"Charles' Montverde Academy team went 32-0 last year," Luther said. "Charles is very athletic and is skilled enough to play all three perimeter positions."
Rounding out the class is Brandon Silvers, a Charleston native who averaged 36 points per game at the Palmetto Academy last year. He was an honorable mention All-Lowcountry team honoree in 2007.
"Brandon was a great find late in the summer for us," Luther said. "He brings a great work ethic and a strong desire to win. He was also valedictorian of his senior class."
"With the combination of new players and returners, I'm very excited about the chance we have to compete this season," Luther added.
The Indians open their 2007-08 schedule on November 15, as they host 2007 NCAA Tournament participant Lander University.