Signing day at Hoggard and CFCC; UNCW’s Kevin Keatts inks four basketball standouts

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — We covered two different ceremonies on Wednesday in Wilmington for national letter of intent signings. We were at Hoggard High and Cape Fear Community College. Click the icon above to see our coverage from both ceremonies.


WILMINGTON, NC (HOGGARD RELEASE) — The Hoggard Vikings are proud to announce that several Hoggard student athletes will be signing National Letter of Intent commitments on the fall signing day of November 12th. The ceremony will be in the Hoggard library next Wednesday at 3:00. Ben Schmidt will sign with Queens University in cross country, Julia Buehler will sign with Gardner Webb in women’s lacrosse, Maya Ebrahimnejad will sign with Vermont in women’s lacrosse, and Gene Beckwith will sign with Mount St. Mary’s in men’s lacrosse.


WILMINGTON, NC (CAPE FEAR CC RELEASE)– A pair of Cape Fear Community College women’s basketball players signed their National Letters of Intent on Wednesday inside the Union Station Building at the CFCC Downtown Campus to signify commitments to four-year schools heading into the next academic year.
Eboni Gilliam became the first Lady Sea Devil hoopster in the programs young history to sign with an NCAA division I program as the Richmond, Va. native has set her sights on Longwood University, while Kristina Rumplasch will be heading closer to home under the direction of Coach Ann Hancock at Wingate University.
“We couldn’t be more proud of Kristina and Eboni and their accomplishments at Cape Fear,” said CFCC Head Coach Lori Drake. “They have brought the women’s game to another level and truly set the tone for our program moving forward.
“They are both hard workers, excellent students and personify what it means to be a student-athlete in college.”
Rumplasch comes off a freshman year as the team’s leading scorer and First-Team All-Region selection. Her consistency on and off the floor has helped her develop into a complete player, who looks to step right into playing time at Wingate.
Drake couldn’t be more proud to be see one of her own play for her former head coach at UNCW.
“Nothing makes me happier than seeing Kristina play for my former head coach,” said Drake. “I know that she will be in great hands and walking into a top notch program.

“Kristina’s work ethic and ability to be coached on and off the floor will carry her through her collegiate career at Wingate. I know she will take that with her into next year.”

Gilliam has been one of the hardest workers to go through Drake’s well-noted vigorous training sessions and the sophomore continues to grow leaps and bounds from when coming to Wilmington as a first-year student-athlete.

“Eboni is a true ambassador of CFCC Athletics and has battled every step of the way,” said Drake. “Most people don’t know this, but Eboni worked three jobs over the summer, while taking summer classes and participating in our off-season workouts.

“She still continues to work during the season and works two days a week opening Starbucks before attending her 8 a.m. classes. Those attributes will carry Eboni through her journey at Longwood University.

“Eboni has been a team captain for us for the last two years and has filled that captain role exceptionally well. We are very proud of Eboni and look forward to seeing her do big things as a Lancer.”


WILMINGTON, NC (UNCW) — UNCW men’s basketball head coach Kevin Keatts cast a wide net on the recruiting trail this fall and made an impressive haul that he believes will put his UNCW Seahawks on a strong foundation for years to come.

Keatts, who carries his first Seahawk team to Old Dominion for the 2014-15 season opener on Saturday, announced the inking of four players to 2015-16 National Letters of Intent on the first day of the fall signing period Wednesday
The quartet includes: CJ Bryce, a 6-5, 180-guard from North Mecklenburg High School in Huntersville, N.C.; Devontae Cacok, a 6-7, 210-pound forward from Alpharetta High School in Riverdale, Ga.; Trey Grundy, a 6-6, 210-pound forward from Hargrave Military Academy (Va.) and Lexington, Ky.; and Mark Matthews, a 6-6, 210-pound guard from Fort Myers High School in Fort Myers, Fla.

“This is a well-balanced class that’s very talented and loaded with great potential,” said Keatts. “They’re a highly-skilled group that fits our up-tempo style of play. We’re counting on all four guys to make an immediate impact. My staff did a terrific job helping us bring in this special class.”

CJ Bryce, 6-5, 180, Guard, North Mecklenburg High School, Huntersville, N.C.
Versatile combo guard…Averaged 20.0 points and 8.0 rebounds for Vikings in junior season…All-Tournament selection at Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champion …Rated No. 8 overall senior by Phenom Hoops Report…Played for Coach Duane Lewis…Led Vikings to 23-5 record in 2014-14, including upset win against Hough in the MECKA 4A tournament championship game…Received 30 scholarship offers, including UNC Charlotte, Wichita State, Marshall and College of Charleston.

Keatts says: “CJ is extremely talented. He’s skilled, athletic, has great size for a combo guard and is very competitive. He really understands how to play the game. His ability to create for himself and others will make him a special player at UNCW.”

Devontae Cacok, 6-7, 210, Forward, Alpharetta High School, Riverdale, Ga.
Athletic forward who is concluding career at Alpharetta HS after transferring from Drew HS…Averaged 20.0 points and 13.0 rebounds for Cougars in junior year…Coached by Frederick Hurt…Selected to play in Georgia All-Star Game as junior.
Keatts says: “Devontae fits our style of play extremely well. One of my goals was to improve the athleticism of our team going forward and that’s exactly what he brings to the table. Devontae is a terrific young man with a great attitude that our fans will love to support.”

Trey Grundy, 6-6, 210, Forward, Henry Clay HS/Hargrave Military Academy, Lexington, Ky.
Attending Hargrave Military Academy after three seasons at Henry Clay High School…Played for former Kevin Keatts aide A.W. Hamilton at Hargrave Military Academy…Made Kentucky All-Star Game as junior…Started for Hargrave and averaged 16.0 points, 8.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists…Graduated last May, but is attending Hargrave for post-graduate year.

Keatts says: “Trey is someone I’ve known for several years. I recruited him at Louisville and knew he would be perfect for our system here at UNCW. He’s an extremely versatile player who comes to us after playing for one of the premier coaches in prep school basketball in A.W. Hamilton. The addition of Trey sticks with our theme of adding guys in this 2015 class that can play and guard multiple positions.”

Mark Matthews, 6-6, 210, Guard, Fort Myers High School, Fort Myers, Fla.
Had scholarship offers from 16 schools…Averaged 21.3 points, 10.6 rebounds and 1.2 assists in junior season for Green Wave…Played for Coach Scott Guttery…Has played in 56 games during sophomore and junior campaigns, averaging 19.1 points, 8.1 rebounds…Has scored 1,370 points in three seasons, connecting on 48 percent from the field and 81 percent at the charity stripe…Captured 7A Player-of-the-Year honors as junior…Received offers from George Mason, Northeastern, Richmond, Elon and William & Mary.

Keatts says: “Mark was the first guy to commit to us in this class and got the ball rolling. He has a great work ethic and attitude. Mark’s a good shooter with great size and a feel for the game. He has bought into the UNCW tradition and we’re very happy to have Mark become a Seahawk.”

2015-16 UNCW Men’s Basketball Recruits

Name Ht. Wt. Pos. High School Hometown
CJ Bryce 6-5 180 G North Mecklenburg Huntersville, N.C.
Devontae Cacok 6-7 210 F Alpharetta Riverdale, Ga.
Trey Grundy 6-6 210 F Hargrave Military Lexington, Ky.
Mark Matthews 6-6 210 G Fort Myers Fort Myers, Fla.


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