James Rojas, a spring signee of University of Alabama men’s basketball, has completed summer school and been admitted to UA, per sources. He is expected in Tuscaloosa tonight and will join the team and coaching staff on its weekend retreat.
Rojas, a 6-foot-8, 215-pound forward, was a National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) and National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) First Team All-American. He signed with Alabama in May but had to complete two classes in residence in New York and was unable to participate in Alabama’s team skill sesssions over the summer
“I’ve known James since his early high school years and have developed a great relationship with him and his mother,” Alabama head coach Nate Oats said when Rojas signed in May. “He’s exactly what we’ve been looking for in a player starting with the fact that he’s one of the toughest players I’ve ever seen. He’s the ultimate competitor and cares about the team winning first and foremost. He plays with a chip on his shoulder determined to prove he can play with anyone in the country and despite having achieved a great deal the last two years, I know James will still be playing with same chip on his shoulder. Experienced, tough, competitive & skilled players are who you win with in today’s game. His loyalty, drive, and humility fit our culture we’re building here at Alabama. James embodies all those qualities and we’re ecstatic to welcome him into our program.”
Rojas joins graduate transfer guard James “Beetle” Bolden (Covington, Ky./Holmes HS/West Virginia) and freshman Raymond Hawkins (Oakland, Calif./Findley [Nev.] Prep) as spring signees. Last fall during the early signing period, the Tide inked a trio of ESPN Top-100 players in forward Juwan Gary (Charlotte, N.C/West Charlotte) and guards Jaylen Forbes (Florence, Miss./Florence) and Jaden Shackelford (Hesperia, Ca./Hesperia) who, combined with Rojas, make up the six members of the Tide’s 2019 signing class. Alabama also signed a transfer guard, Jahvon Quinerly, from Villanova. Quinerly is awaiting an NCAA ruling on whether he can participate in 2019-20 or must sit out a year
In addition to his two All-America accolades, Rojas collected numerous additional honors during his sophomore season. He was named the 2019 Jayhawk West Conference Player of the Year, as well as a first-team All-Jayhawk West honoree while also being named to the All-Region VI First Team and Region VI All-Tournament team. He was Hutchinson’s leading scorer and the Jayhawk Conference’s third-leading scorer at 19.0 points per game, while also collecting 6.8 rebounds and 1.5 steals in 25.8 minutes a contest. The Jamestown, N.Y., native finished the season shooting 50.4 percent from the field and 38.4 percent from beyond the arc, knocking down 28 three-pointers (28-of-73). He was also a 79.5 percent free throw shooter.
Reach Cecil Hurt at email@example.com or via Twitter @cecilhurt