THE FLATS - With fall semester now in progress, Georgia Tech's basketball team has added four new non-scholarship players to its ranks, an impressive group that includes a pair of players who had scholarship offers from other schools and one member of Japan's U19 team from this past summer's FIBA World Cup.
The additions bring the total number of players on the Yellow Jackets' roster to 16, including 12 scholarship players, for the 2017-18 season.
"These individuals are not only strong academically but bring some very good basketball background, collectively, into our program," said head coach Josh Pastner. "Our non-scholarship players are an important part of our program in many ways, on and off the court."
The newcomers include 6-6 point guard Jon Brown of Miami, Fla., and 6-6 wing Evan Jester of Riverdale, Ga. Brown, a nephew of Tech All-American point guard Kenny Anderson, received attention from a number of mid-major schools out of the Sports Leadership and Management Academy, where he attended his final two years of high school. Jester, who received scholarship offers from Alcorn State and some Division II schools, was an all-state performer who helped lead Sandy Creek High School to the semifinals of the Georgia class AAAA state playoffs last year.
Also joining the program is 6-10 center Avi Schafer (Osaka, Japan), who played for Japan at the 2016 FIBA Asia U18 Championship and this year's FIBA U19 World Cup. Schafer last year attended Brewster Academy in Wolfeboro, N.H., where he was a teammate of Yellow Jacket freshman guard Curtis Haywood II and helped the Bobcats go 33-0 and win the national prep school championship.
The fourth newcomer is 6-foot guard Malachi Rice from Indianapolis, Ind., who led Brebeuf Jesuit Prep to a pair of Circle City Conference championships and one sectional title. His twin brother, Isaiah, is a freshman walk-on at Vanderbilt. Rice actually enrolled in June and practiced with the Jackets during the summer.
ABOUT GEORGIA TECH MEN'S BASKETBALL
Georgia Tech's men's basketball team is in its second year under head coach Josh Pastner. Tech has been a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference since 1979, won three ACC Championships (1985, 1990, 1993), played in the NCAA Tournament 16 times and played in two Final Fours (1990, 2004). Connect with Georgia Tech Men's Basketball on social media by liking their Facebook Page, or following on Twitter (@GTMBB) and Instagram.