July 7, 2014
QUEENS, N.Y. -
St. John's head coach Steve Lavin has added size to the Red Storm roster with the signings of a pair of New York big men in Christ The King center Adonis Delarosa (Middle Village, N.Y.) and forward Keith Thomas (Mount Vernon, N.Y.) out of Westchester Community College.
"We are pleased to sign two prospects from New York as we bolster the frontline depth of our roster," said Lavin, who has signed eight recruits out of New York high schools or junior colleges in his Red Storm tenure.
Delarosa, the 2013-14 New York Daily News Queens Player of the Year, helped guide Christ the King to back-to-back city and state Federation championships as a junior and senior. Ranked by ESPN as a three-star recruit and the 14th-best high school senior in the state of New York, Delarosa garnered first team All-City and first team All-Queens honors from the Daily News this past season after averaging 12 points and 12 rebounds. The Middle Village, N.Y., native also earned first team All-Queens accolades from the Daily News as a junior.
"Adonis has exceptionally good hands and a strong offensive skill set for a basketball player of his size and age," Lavin commented. "He comes from an outstanding high school program with a tradition of winning championships."
A city and state All-Tournament selection as a senior, the 6-11, 265-pound center totaled 10 points and 15 rebounds in the city title game and added six points with 13 rebounds in the state championship game. Delarosa capped his high school career with an invitation to the Jordan Brand Classic at Barclays Center, where he finished with 12 points and eight rebounds to help his squad to victory.
An honorable mention NJCAA All-American and the NJCAA Region XV Player of the Year last season at Westchester Community College, Thomas led all Division I junior college players with 15.7 rebounds per game. The 6-8, 230-pound forward, who appeared in 32 games and made 30 starts, also averaged 15.3 points per game to help lead the Vikings to a Division I District III Championship crown, an automatic bid into the 24-team NJCAA Division I Men's Basketball National Championship and a 28-5 record.
"Keith is a strong, physical frontline player with a high aptitude for rebounding at both ends of the court," added Lavin. "His experience of winning big at Westchester Community College has prepared him well for transitioning to our program here at St. John's."
Thomas, who also earned first team All-Region XV honors, shot 65.4 percent from the floor to rank eighth in the country among Division I junior college players. Highlighted by a 33-rebound performance against Prestige Prep Academy, the forward grabbed at least 20 boards on five occasions and registered 10 or more rebounds in 27 games. The native of Mount Vernon, N.Y., posted 31 double-figure scoring games.
Lavin's recruiting efforts at St. John's have been highlighted by the No. 3 nationally-ranked Class of 2011 and the No. 8 Class of 2012 as well as a pair of BIG EAST Rookie of the Year honorees in JaKarr Sampson (2013) and Maurice Harkless (2012). St. John's had just one available scholarship for the 2013-14 season and Lavin reeled in the highest-ranked prospect of his Red Storm tenure in Rysheed Jordan, who ranked No. 22 in the ESPN 100.