TOWSON, Md. - Towson added speed to its backcourt in guard Cephas Oglesby from North Carolina's Cape Fear Community College and height to its front court in 6-11 center Jamel Flash, a pre-season New York Metro All-Star from West Hempstead High School, when both were signed by Tigers head coach Pat Kennedy to a national letter of intent for the 2010-11 season.
PRE-SEASON NJCAA ALL-AMERICAN
"Cephas is undoubtedly one of the top junior college guards on the Eastern seaboard who also ranks among the best nationally," Kennedy said. "We are very pleased about his addition to our program."
The 6-1 Oglesby was ranked as the third best prospect among North Carolina junior college players after averaging 17.1 points to lead the Sea Devils to a 20-14 record that included a Region X Tournament championship and a trip to Hutchinson, Kan. for a spot in the NJCAA National Playoffs last year. A pre-season honorable mention NJCAA All-American selection this year, he also averaged 5.2 rebounds and 2.6 assists.
"I feel like Cephas made a great decision," said CFCC coach Ryan Mantlo whose Sea Devils begin the season ranked 30th nationally. "It's a great fit for both parties. Cephas is the type of player that comes along once every 10 years. Towson got a big time player with him. Towson's staff made Cephas feel like he was very much at home on his visit; they did a tremendous job recruiting him."
Coming out of Cape Fear High School in Fayetteville, N.C., Oglesby was Cumberland County's second leading scorer with a 19.1 average.
"I'm very excited to be a part of Towson basketball," Cephas said. "I have always dreamed of playing Division I basketball and to know I now have the opportunity to do so is great."
Cephas is the fifth North Carolina native son to play for the Tigers. He will join RaShawn Polk, who is in his first year as a sophomore guard with the Tigers after a successful interscholastic career at Dudley High School in Greensboro and one year at Guilford Technical Community College where he averaged 23.1 points. Ralph Biggs (1994-98, Washington H.S./Washington, N.C.) was a 1,000-point career scorer at Towson who continues to enjoy a very successful professional career in the European Leagues. C.C. Williams (2006-08, Clinton H.S./Clinton, N.C.) was a two-year starter at point guard. Most recently Junior Hairston (2007-09, West Rowan H.S./Salisbury, N.C.), a two-time All-CAA selection and a member of the league's 2009 All-Tournament team, led Towson in scoring as a two-year starter who finished his career ranked sixth on the Tigers' all-time rebounding list with 629 boards. He is currently playing professionally in Turkey.
"We feel Jamel is a real steal for Towson basketball," Kennedy said. "He is an outstanding young man and comes from a terrific family. The upside for his future is very bright. We are excited he will be joining us here at Towson."
Flash's first exposure to organized basketball came in his freshman year at West Hempstead. A two-year team captain, he averaged 12.2 points, 10.4 rebounds and 3.1 blocks in his junior year when the Rams were 12-0 in conference play and 15-5 overall. He has registered single game career highs of 21 points, 19 rebounds and seven blocks.
"Jamel's basketball career is on the way up ... literally ... he's still growing," said Rams coach Ed Cosgrove. "He's an honor student, an all-star basketball player, and even a better person. His parents have instilled in him an incredible work ethic that will continue to serve as a source of strength for him on and off the court."
Flash is a member of the New York Panthers Under 17 team that traveled extensively last summer for events in Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Arkansas. He has attended the Hoop Group Elite camp. In the off-season he works out with his cousin, Shawnelle Scott, a former St. John's player who was a 1994 draft pick of the Portland Trailblazers.