Alabama Men’s Basketball Signs Three to National Letters of Intent
Alabama men’s basketball head coach Avery Johnson officially announced the Tide’s 2019 signing class on Wednesday, as the Crimson Tide inked three players, making the group the 11th-ranked class for 2019 according to ESPN.com.
The three newest members of the Alabama men’s basketball program are forward Juwan Gary (Charlotte, N.C/West Charlotte HS), along with guards Jaylen Forbes (Florence, Miss./Florence HS) and Jaden Shackelford (Hesperia, Ca./Hesperia HS). All three are four-star prospects and each is expected to make an impact for the Tide next season.
“Our 2019 signing class is one that we are very optimistic about,” Johnson said. “First, I want to thank our assistant coaches Antoine Pettway, John Pelphrey and Yasir Rosemond for their tireless efforts, persistence and diligence they each put forth in recruiting all three signees. Each one addresses an area of how we want to play and the style we desire to play on the court. They each have strong work ethic, ball-handling ability and will knock down open shots on a consistent basis. All three are high-level people who we believe will not only be successful on the court, but in the classroom as well.”
JUWAN GARY | FORWARD | 6-6 | 190 | COLUMBIA, S.C. (WEST CHARLOTTE HS)
Gary, is a 6-6, 190-pound forward, is a consensus four start recruit who is ranked as the No. 55 overall player in the class of 2019, the No. 10-ranked forward and the third overall player in the state of South Carolina according to ESPN.com ... after playing his previous three years at Gray Collegiate Academy in Columbia, S.C., Gary transferred to West Charlotte High School in Charlotte, N.C., where he will play his senior season … was named the 2018 2A Player of the Year by the South Carolina Basketball Coaches Association … played under head coach Dion Bethea at Gray Collegiate where he led the team to its first ever Class 2A state championship in 2017 ... finished his junior year averaging 20.5 points, 8.3 rebounds and 1.9 steals per game … as a sophomore, he averaged 18.4 points, 6.5 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game ... Earned Florence Player of the Year for the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons. Gary signed with Alabama after receiving offers from the likes of Clemson, North Carolina State, South Carolina, South Carolina and UNLV, among others.
“Juwan is a prospect that we fell in love with from the first moment we watched him,” Johnson said. “Juwan has a high motor and plays with maximum energy on both sides of the floor. He’s a knock-down three-point shooter. Juwan has strong character and bounces back extremely well from adversity. He comes from an outstanding family. His mother Elisha, father Kevin and sister Kassidy are fantastic people and we are excited to welcome them all to the Alabama basketball family.”
JAYLEN FORBES | GUARD | 6-4 | 180 | FLORENCE, MISS. (FLORENCE HS)
Forbes, 6-4 shooting guard who played at Florence high school and was tabbed an All-State performer by the Clarion Ledger, is a four-star recruit who is ranked as the No. 2 player in the state and the No. 66 player in the country, according to ESPN.com… averaged 25.9 points and 5.6 rebounds as a junior… played for the MEBO team Hood in the Nike EYBL circuit Forbes averaged 19.4 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game… named a breakout player by Prep Recruit… participated in the USA Men’s Junior National Team minicamp in 2016 and 2017… chose Alabama after receiving offers from Kansas State, Murray State, Southern Miss and UAB, among others.
“Jaylen is a player who is from our footprint area of the Southeast and an area we need to continue to get top players,” Johnson said. “We feel Jaylen is one of the best pure shooters in the country. He is a knock down three-point shooter who is a threat as soon as he crosses half court. We were very impressed with how strong he finished the AAU season and really showed his athleticism and ability to create plays off the dribble. He is very excited to be a part of this recruiting class. We want to thank Jaylen’s mother, Denise Andrews and father Michael Forbes, along with his sisters Destenie Thomas and Tiyunna Lee and we are looking forward to them making the trip to Tuscaloosa and cheering on the Crimson Tide.”
JADEN SHACKELFORD | GUARD | 6-3 | 185 | HESPERIA, CA. (HESPERIA HS)
Jaden Shackelford is a 6-3, 185-pound four-star prospect according to ESPN.com and the No. 14 guard and the No. 7 player in the state of California…led his squad to the final four in the Division 3A state championship averaging 25.1 points, 1.6 rebounds and 0.8 steals… made four or more 3-pointers in seven separate games on the Nike EYBL circuit and led the entire circuit with 57 3-pointers in all… awarded Best Performance of the session by the D1 circuit staff against E1T1 United where he scored 40 points hit 7 three-pointers and had 6 rebounds… signed with Alabama after receiving offers from Kansas State, Oklahoma, UCLA and Pepperdine, among others.
“Jaden brings an explosiveness as a combo guard,” Johnson said. “He’s a guy who can get his shot off against anybody. He has a great body, is an outstanding defender and is a high-level ball handler who has great court vision. He comes from a great family and I want to especially thank his parents, Anthony and Jasmine, along with his brother and sister. They are a terrific family and have great faith and trust in the Alabama basketball program.”