Immediate Release: May 17, 2006
VESTAL, N.Y. - Binghamton University men's basketball coach Al Walker has secured four recruits for the 2006-07 season - a pair of junior college transfers and two freshmen from Serbia.
Set to join BU in the fall are 6-foot-2 junior guard Marvin Lee (Chicago, Ill./Hyde Park Academy/Pratt Community College, Kan.), 6-foot junior guard Richard Forbes (Far Rockaway, N.Y./Far Rockaway/Howard Junior College, Texas), 6-foot-9 forward Miladin Kovacevic (Belgrade, Serbia/Paul VI High, Va.) and 6-foot-9 forward Lazar Trifunovic (Belgrade, Serbia/Secondary Railway Technical School).
"With the graduation of Andre Heard, Sebastian Hermenier and Schafer Jackson, we needed to strengthen our offense," Walker said. "Marvin Lee and Rich Forbes will help our returning guards in this phase of the game. And with the addition of the two big young Serbian players, we've bolstered the front line with significant size and skill level. Everyone within the program is very excited about our potential for the upcoming season."
Lee averaged team-highs of 14.2 points and 6.4 rebounds for a Pratt team that went 18-13 in the Kansas Jayhawk Conference. He was a first team all-region selection. Lee also led Pratt in steals (50) and free throws (114).
"Marvin is a very strong, very athletic wing player," Walker said. "He has carried his team the past two seasons in the very demanding Jayhawk Conference. Marvin can score, rebound and defend at a high level. His presence and talent will help fill Andre Heard's graduation. He is the next Jayhawk player to compete at Binghamton, following Alex Adediran, Billy Williams and Brandon Carter."
Forbes averaged 10.8 points and 2.3 assists for a Howard team that went 35-2 and placed fifth in the country this past season. He was named all-conference in the Western Junior College Athletic Conference and was selected to the all-tournament team at the national championship after averaging 18.0 points in the tournament. For the season, he shot 44% from the floor and 84% from the free throw line. Forbes was the team's sixth man, playing behind two starting guards who each signed with Texas Tech. Forbes played his freshman season at Tallahassee Community College. In high school, Forbes averaged 32.0 points per game, where he was the No. 1 scorer in the Public School Athletic League - ahead of NBA talent Sebastian Telfair. He was a second team All-Queens selection.
"Rich is our first scholarship player from New York City," Walker said. "He is an explosive athlete and scorer, and is very comfortable playing the point and off guard positions. Howard College was one of the very best junior college programs in the nation last season. Rich's high level of talent and competitiveness will challenge and improve our perimeter play. He will also help us replace the points lost with Andre Heard's departure."
Up front, Walker added a pair of 6-foot-9 Serbians to fill the void left by Hermenier and Jordan Fithian.
Kovacevic (pronounced ko-VA-che-vitch), 6-foot-9, 250 pounds, averaged 12.0 points and 10.0 rebounds for Paul VI High School in Fairfax, Va. this past winter. That is the same high school as current guard Steve Proctor.
"Minja is a very big, strong young man, just beginning to mature as a basketball player," Walker said. "His size and rugged demeanor on the court is impressive."
Lazar (Lah-Zar) Trifunovic (tri-FOON-oh-vich), 6-foot-9, 230 pounds, was a club teammate of Kovacevic in Belgrade, and competed on the 16-year-old Serbian National Team.
"Lazar is a skilled big forward who is recognized by the Serbian coaches as one of the best young players in the country," Walker said. "He is very excited to pursue the next level of basketball and education in America at Binghamton."
Binghamton still has one scholarship remaining to complete its 2006-07 recruiting class.
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