The Ottawa University men’s basketball team has successfully navigated through the coronavirus recruiting limitations.
The Braves signed 13 players during the period where no face-to-face or in-person visits were allowed.
Ottawa, coming off a record-breaking season, signed 13 players: Harrison Clark, Willie Dotson IV, Braxton Bouyer, Carson Skinner, Triston Turner, Jaxson Pope, Adam Gilbert, Leonardo Garcia, Jackson Frank, Hunter Lewis, Tyrone Bland, Jacob Stuckey and Gavin Hooper.
Lewis is a local product, a West Franklin High School standout. He is a transfer from Neosho Community College.
Lewis was an all-around athlete for the Falcons. Lewis earned four letters in basketball, two in golf, two in baseball, and one in powerlifting. He excelled in basketball.
As a senior, he was selected to play in the KBCA All-Star Game, the Flint Hills All-Star Game, and the Herald Turner (SEK) All-Star Game. Lewis was a three-time Ottawa Herald All-Area selection. He was a 1,000-point scorer for the Falcons, earned Sports in Kansas second team All-State and was a second team All-State selection by the Wichita Eagle and The Topeka Capital Journal. Lewis was named first team All-Flint Hills as a senior after earning second team honors as a sophomore and junior.
Lewis is the son of Cindy and Kipper Lewis and plans to major in sports studies.
Clark is from Shawnee and was home schooled. He was selected to play in the All-Star Invitational, played in the NDII Tournament, was part of the Smoky Valley Hoops Encounter, and participated at the High School All-American Camp. Clark was twice named to the first team All-GPAC Defensive Team, earned first team all-conference, and was twice named to the Smoky Valley Hoops All-Tournament Team.
Clark plans to concentrate on general studies before deciding on a major.
Dotson, Lawrence, was a three year letterman for the Chesty Lions. He plans to major in physical education.
Bouyer is transferring to OU from Colorado Northwestern Community College. In 2018-19, Bouyer played in 29 games and averaged 9.6 points and 3.6 rebounds per game. He shot 38.2 percent from the floor, 25.8 percent from behind the 3-pt line, and 70.1 percent from the free-throw line. Bouyer scored a career-high 32 points against Snow College.
Before attending Colorado Northwestern Community College, Bouyer spent a year at Northern New Mexico College. As a freshman, he averaged 4.8 points and 1.7 rebounds per game.
Bouyer plans to major in business administration.
Skinner, Clearwater, Fla., helped lead his travel team to two AAU state championships and a final ranking of fourth in the nation.
Skinner plans to major in journalism.
Turner, Independence, Mo., earned four letters on the basketball court. He was a two-time all-conference and all-district selection. His grandfather, Shawn Coleman, attended Ottawa University.
Turner plans to major in accounting.
Pope, McLouth, lettered in basketball and football in high school. Pope helped McClouth High School to the state tournament in 2019. It was McLouth’s first trip to state in 70 years. Pope was selected to play in two all-star games. He was twice named to the MIT All-Tournament team, was a two-time first team all-league selection, and earned honorable mention all-state honors twice.
His cousin, Garrison Pope, also is a member of the OU men’s basketball team.
Pope plans to concentrate on general studies before deciding on a major.
Gilbert, Drexel, Mo., was a prep standout. As a junior, he was an honorable mention all-district selection. Gilbert earned first team all-district honors, was named District Player of the Year, was named academic all-conference, earned first team all-conference, and earned a MSHSAA Award of Excellence.
Gilbert plans to concentrate on general studies before deciding on a major.
Garcia, Clearwater, Fla., plans to major in music.
Frank, Alma, was a standout athlete for Wabaunsee High School. He earned four letters in basketball, football and baseball. On the basketball court, Frank earned honorable mention all-state, was a first team All-Mid-East League selection, and was selected to play in the 2020 Flint Hills All-Star Game.
In football, he was an honorable mention all-state selection, was named to the All-Flint Hills Area second team at defensive back, was a Top 100 Senior in Kansas, and was a Kansas Shrine Bowl nominee.
On the diamond, Frank helped lead Wabaunsee to the 2017 state tournament, he was named honorable mention all-state, and earned honorable mention All-Mid-East League honors in 2019.
Frank plans to major in exercise science..
Bland is a transfer from Illinois Valley Community College. He averaged 14.9 points, 2.9 rebounds, and 1.1 assists as a freshman at IVCC. He shot 42.8% from the floor, 32% from behind the 3-point line, and 74.2% from the free-throw line.
Bland plans to major in accounting.
Stuckey, Burleson, Texas, earned four letters in basketball and three in golf in high school. He helped his prep team to a 2020 District 5-5A championship and to the 2020 Elite 8 at the Texas Class 5A Tournament.
Stuckey earned all-tournament team honors at the 2018 Byron Johnston Holiday Classic, the 2019 MT Rice Holiday Tournament, and the Region I Class 5A Tournament. He was named All-District 5-5A honors, was a three-time All-Johnson County selection, and earned all-academic honors. Stuckey was named the 2020 All-Johnson County Co-MVP and was named to the TABC Class 5A All-Academic All-State.
Stuckey plans to major in exercise science.
Hooper, Cherryvale, was a prep standout. He earned three letters in basketball, four in football, three in baseball, and one in track.
As a senior on the basketball court, Hooper was named first team all-area, unanimous first team all-league, earned all-tournament and all-academic honors at the Wildcat Classic, was named all-tournament and all-academic at the Wilson County Classic, earned all-state honorable mention honors from Sports in Kansas, The Topeka-Capital Journal and the Wichita Eagle.
On the baseball diamond, Hooper earned honorable mention All-Tri-Valley League honors as a junior. As a member of the Charger football team, he was a first team all-district selection and earned first team all-area honors on defense.
Hooper was his class salutatorian, served as StuCo president, was a member of the National Honor Society, and was a recipient of the 2020 KSHSAA Citizenship Award.
Hooper plans to major in engineering.