The America East Basketball Conference heads into the offseason continuing to keep the fan base interested in college basketball. A new coach Grant Billmeier was introduced as the 12th head coach in NJIT history last week. He quickly has begun putting his staff together for the upcoming season. One of his new staff members comes from the New York area. RaShawn Stores, who spent this past season as the interim head coach at Manhattan College, joins the Highlanders as an assistant coach.
Stores heads to New Jersey after spending six seasons on the Jaspers bench. Not only did Stores coach at Manhattan, but he also played there as well. He was a two-time captain helping the school to win 71 games during his five seasons at the school. The Jaspers won two MAAC Tournament championships and made a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances. He is ninth all-time in assists with 314. Stores was named to the league’s all-rookie team 2012-13. He made the transition from player to coach after his final year with the Jaspers in 2017. RaShawn was named an assistant coach a year later, and in 2018-19 was promoted to assistant head coach. In the days leading up to this past season, Stores was named the interim head coach at Manhattan where he led the team to 12 overall wins of which 10 of them came in the conference. RaShawn is expected to play a major role in player development as well as mentoring players.
A couple of schools in America East have made some progress in the world of recruiting. First, the defending champs, the Vermont Catamounts have brought Seth Joba into the program. He is a 6-9 forward from Orchard Park, NY. who is finishing up his prep schooling at Bridgton Academy in Maine. At Orchard Park High School in 2022-23, Joba averaged 16.6 points, 9.9 rebounds, and four blocks a game for a team that had a 19-3 record. It is reported that Joba had at least 10 scholarships to choose from, He committed to Vermont last year and is expected in Burlington, VT. this summer.
Bryant College has gone into the transfer portal and grabbed a 6-6 guard by the name of Rafael Pinzon who for the past two years had been at St. John’s of the Big East. He appeared in 19 games with two starts for the Red Storm. Pinzon averaged 6.1 points per game, 1.9 rebounds in 15.7 minutes a game. He had six games where he finished with double-figuring scoring. He is from Arecibo, Puerto Rico. He should have three years of eligibility to use at Bryant. Pinzon put himself into the transfer portal back on March 22.
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