May 24, 2005
Men's Basketball Signs Two Transfers for 2005-06 Season
MARYVILLE, Mo. -- The Northwest Missouri State men's basketball program and head coach Steve Tappmeyer announced the signing of senior guard Xzavier Gaines (Grandberry, Tex.) and junior forward Jelonta Martin (Portland, Ore.) to NCAA National Letters of Intent. Both players will be eligible for the 2005-06 season at Northwest.
Xzavier Gaines (pronounced Xavier), who is a 6-4, 210 lb. transfer from Division I Syracuse University, played both football and basketball for the Orangemen. Last season, Gaines began the school year as a quarterback with the football team but opted to switch back to basketball prior to the start of the campaign. On the hardwood, Gaines played in five contests as a junior including a career-high nine minutes of court time against Northern Colorado. He tallied two rebounds and an assist against the Bears. In 2003, he spent the year with the Syracuse football program. As a freshman, Gaines made his debut with the Orange hoops squad against Cornell.
At Dallas Carter High School, Gaines was a three-year basketball starter. He also competed in track & field and football. Gaines, who was born in Wichita, Kan., is a two-time state-championship qualifier in the triple jump. Gaines attended Westfield High School in Houston, Tex., his senior season.
"Xzavier didn't play a lot at Syracuse but he was a part of a national championship team two years ago," said Tappmeyer. "He is a two-sport athlete and will come in as a graduate student with one year remaining. I feel he is very hungry to play and competed against top-level athletes. Hopefully, his playing days (at Syracuse) will help him out here."
Jelonta Martin (pronounced Jah-lon-teh) is a 6-5, 220 lb. forward who played last season at Fort Scott (Kan.) Community College. In 2004-05, FSCC went 8-22 overall in the Jayhawk CC Conference. As a freshman, Martin was a member of the Western Nebraska CC basketball team. At Jefferson (Ore.) High School, Martin was teammates with Missouri basketball star Thomas Gardner.
"I think Jelonta will bring some much needed athleticism on the front line," said Tappmeyer. "I look for him to come in and help out right away."
For more information, please contact:
Phillip Dowden, Media Relations/Sports Information
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