JOHNSON CITY — The East Tennessee State men's and women's basketball programs each announced an addition Thursday, one a player and one a coaching assistant.
Murry Bartow's Buccaneers signed junior-college forward Darius Forrest for the 2013-14 recruiting class. The 6-foot-6, 190-pounder from Jackson, Miss., averaged 13 points and six rebounds last year for Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. He finished second on the team in scoring, shooting 46 percent from the floor and 34 percent from 3-point range last season.
In a statement from the university, Bartow said Forrest combines length on defense with the ability to score.
"We really like what he can do on both ends of the floor," Bartow said. "He's really long and has a great wingspan, so we expect him to do a lot defensively for us whether that's blocking shots or rebounding. Offensively, he has a high basketball IQ, and is a very athletic, capable wing player who can score the basketball."
The addition of Forrest brings to five the number of players who have signed as part of the 2013-14 recruiting class. He joins Jaylen Riley (Racine, Wis.), Devin Harris (Tampa, Fla.), Maurice O'Field (Cleveland, Ohio) and A.J. Merriweather (Jackson).
On the women's side, new coach Brittney Ezell added Laura Barry to her staff.
Barry joins the Lady Bucs after spending the past two seasons as a graduate assistant coach at St. John's, where her duties included overseeing the team managers and practice players, helping organize game day operations and travel, utilizing social media, and assisting coaches when necessary.
“Laura is the perfect complement to Nikki Davis and Brittany Burkhardt and brings a wealth of experience to our program from her playing days at the University of North Carolina and her time spent as a graduate assistant at St. John’s University," Ezell said in a statement. "She is a consummate learner and a passionate teacher. Laura is bright, energetic and eager to get started here with the Buccaneers. I have no doubt that her knowledge of the game, her ability to instruct and her enthusiasm with resonate well with our student-athletes.”
A native North Carolinian, Barry played three seasons at UNC (2007-09) under coach Sylvia Hatchell. Barry was a part of two Atlantic Coast Conference championships and a member of the 2007 UNC squad that reached the NCAA title game.
Barry graduated from North Carolina in 2009 with a dual bachelor’s degree in exercise and sport science and communications studies.