JONESBORO, Ark. (AStateRedWolves.com) – The Arkansas State University men's basketball program continues to solidify its foundation for seasons to come as the Red Wolves inked two individuals to a National Letter of Intent this Wednesday (Nov. 14) as announced by ASU head coach John Brady.
Sean Gardner (Collierville, Tenn./Motlow College) and Jammar "Mookie" Sturdivant (Lepanto, AR/East Poinsett County), a pair of guards, will join the Red Wolves starting with the 2013-14 season.
Gardner will play for A-State after spending the last two seasons (2011-12 and 2012-13) with Motlow Junior College in Lynchburg, Tenn. The 6-4, 185-pound guard is currently averaging a team-leading 16.0 points to go with 4.0 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and 0.3 steals per contest in three outings this season. He has shot 17-of-30 for 57 percent from the field, including 53 percent (10-19) from three-point range and 80 percent at the free throw line. Gardner, who is coached by former ASU men's basketball alumnus and current head coach Jerry Nichols, has compiled double-figure scoring in two of the Bucks' three games this 2012-13 campaign, including a season-high 24 points in his season debut and was also five-of-six from the three-point line. As a freshman in 2010-11, Gardner registered averages of 10.7 points, 3.9 rebounds, 2.0 assists, and 1.4 steals in 28 contests as the Bucks posted a 17-11 overall record. Gardner earned all-district honors as a senior at Collierville High under head coach Norm Sluder where he averaged 17.0 points, 4.4 rebounds, 2.7 assists, and 2.2 steals per contestwhile hitting on 48 percent in field goal attempts.
"Sean is an outstanding shooter and has a great understanding of the game," said Brady. "He is another excellent scorer and we are fortunate to have signed him. He comes from an excellent junior college program at Motlow and his coach (Jerry Nichols) has done a wonderful job of preparing him for this level of play."
Sturdivant, a 2011-12 Arkansas Activities Association 2A All-State selection, led East Poinsett County High School to its third 2A state tourney championship crown in the last four seasons and the Warriors second consecutive title to date as a junior this past season. Sturdivant was named the 2012 2A State Tournament's Most Valuable Player after pouring in a game-high 22 points and 10 rebounds in the championship contest. The 6-1, 190-pound guard earned both all-tournament team and all-tourney Most Valuable Player honors under head coach Josh Hill following the 2011-12 campaign. Sturdivant scored a team-high 19.7 points an outing while recording per game averages of 5.2 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and 2.6 steals in his junior season en route to achieving Arkansas Democrat Gazette All-Arkansas Second-Team recognition. He registered a pair of 30-point game performances in the 2010 NEA Tournament. Sturdivant competed in AAU basketball for the Arkansas Wings Elite team in the 17 and under division. A standout athlete, Sturdivant also played wide receiver and cornerback on the Warriors' football team.
"Mookie brings a variety of skills to our team," said Brady. "He handles it well, shoots it well, can make the correct pass and as important, he is a tough hard-nosed competitor. He comes from a winning program and has been extremely well coached in high school at EPC. I'm looking forward to coaching him and feel really good about all he brings to our program."
Arkansas State, which is currently 1-1 overall this season, returns to the court as the Red Wolves visit the Tennessee-Martin Skyhawks this Friday (Nov. 16) in a 7p.m. (CT) non-conference contest at Martin, Tenn.