Junior College All-American James Rojas Signs to Join the Alabama Men’s Basketball Program
Alabama men’s basketball head coach Nate Oats announced the signing of 6-8, 215-pound forward James Rojas, a National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) and National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) First Team All-American. Rojas becomes the sixth signee and second transfer who will suit up for the Crimson Tide basketball team for the 2019-20 season.
"I’ve known James since his early high school years and have developed a great relationship with him and his mother," Oats said. "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.
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.
Playing in 29 games as a sophomore during the 2018-19 campaign, Rojas, who originally committed to Oats while he was at the University of Buffalo, 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.
Behind the play of Rojas, Hutchinson reached its seventh-straight Region VI Tournament championship game. Rojas scored a career-high 30 points in a Region VI Tournament double-overtime victory over No. 3 Coffeyville to reach the finals. Despite falling in the championship game, he led the way with 29 points and 11 rebounds to close the season with 16 games of 20 points or more and three double-doubles.
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