Stevens: Former N.C. State recruit enrolls at Chipola Junior College

tstevens@newsobserver.comOctober 8, 2012 

Durham’s Torian Graham, who had committed to N.C. State to play basketball at one time, has enrolled at Marianna (Fla.) Chipola Junior College.

The 6-foot-4 Graham attended Durham Hillside, Raleigh Word of God, Carrboro Pace Academy, Jacksonville (Fla.) Arlington Country Day and Creedmoor Christian Faith during his high school career.

He committed to State in May of 2011, but decided to open his recruitment in August. He briefly committed to State again in December, but later said he was still open.

Graham was ranked as the No. 38 senior in the country by ESPN in 2012.

“Obviously we are very excited to add Torian,” said Chipola coach Patrick Blake. “He is a great talent and he’ll fit in with the style of play that we want to run. We expect him to be a major contributor.”

He is joining a Chipola club that was 23-7 in 2011-12 and is expected to feature former Word of God 6-11 center Joseph Uchebo, another former Wolfpack commitment, and Sam Cassell Jr., who signed with Maryland this spring but was an NCAA non-qualifier.

Uchebo is a native of Nigeria who played at Durham Mount Zion, Oak Ridge Military and Word of God in high school. He was averaging 16 points and 14 rebounds for Chipola last year before suffering a micro fracture in his knee.

“Joseph is coming off surgery,” Blake said. “We’re hoping that he gets back to 100 percent. When he is healthy, he is the best center in the country.”

Hemphill to Navy: James Hemphill, a 6-foot-5 basketball forward at Broughton, committed to the U.S. Naval Academy this week.

Hemphill was the second-leading scorer (11.0 points per game) and the leading rebounder (5.5) on a Caps team that finished 21-7 in 2011-12.

“James is one of the hardest workers that I have ever coached,” said Broughton coach Jeff Ferrell. “He is a super kid and a person with a very strong faith. He believes that God guided him to this decision and he feels great about his decision.”

Hemphill is the son of former Fuquay-Varina athletic director Bruce Hemphill.

Bryan to Appalachian: Marcus Bryan, a 6-foot-7, 235-pound senior basketball player at Ravenscroft, has committed to Appalachian State. He is expected to be Ravenscroft’s all-time leader in rebounding and blocked shots by the end of next season..

“We expect Marcus to have another outstanding season and exceed his level of play from the last two years when he was an all-conference,” said Ravenscroft basketball coach Kevin Billerman. “Appalachian is getting one of the top players in the state.”

Bryan averaged about 11.8 points and 9.8 rebounds per game for the 31-4 Ravens.

Lacrosse recruit: Jimbo Barnes of Ravenscroft, an independent all-state selection in lacrosse, has committed to Furman. Barnes led the Ravens in scoring in 2012 with 42 goals and 11 assists.

“His commitment and dedication to fulfill the expectations of our program has set the bar for his teammates, said Ravens coach Sandy Kapatos.

STEVENS: 919-829-8910

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