EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – SIUE men's basketball Head Coach Lennox Forrester has announced the addition of three student-athletes to the program. Grant Fiorentinos (Cape Town, South Africa), Ray Lester (Chicago), and Donivine Stewart (Peoria) have each signed to play basketball for the Cougars.
Lester, a 6-foot, 6-inch forward, is the only player available beginning with the 2012-13 season. Lester is transferring from Vincennes University, a junior college in Indiana. He appeared in 31 games, making six starts last season for the Blazers.
"Ray is going to add a presence inside both offensively and defensively," Forrester said. "He'll add to our rebounding. He's very athletic and a hard worker."
Lester began his college career at North Carolina A&T where he averaged 2.4 points and 1.5 rebounds as a freshman. He shot 42 percent (23-55) from the floor.
Fiorentinos, a 6-10 forward/center, is transferring from Tulane University, where he appeared in 10 games, starting six. He will sit out a year due to NCAA Division I transfer rules. Fiorentinos prepped at the Hunn School in Princeton, N.J. He averaged 14 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists, and 4 blocks per game during his prep career.
"We recruited Grant before," Forrester said. "He brings rebounding skill. He also can score inside and he can step out and shoot the three. He is a great student-athlete."
Stewart, a 5-11 guard, is a transfer from Bradley University and will also sit out a year due to transfer rules. Stewart played in 11 games as a freshman. Stewart played high school basketball at Limestone where he was a four-time all-state selection. He set the Limestone High School and Mid-Illini Conference career scoring record. He finished his high school career as the second-leading scorer all-time in the Peoria Journal Star circulation area with 2,295 points.
"He is a tremendous passer," Forrester said. "He'll make us better because of his knowledge of the game and playing at a high level already (at Bradley)."
SIUE finished the 2011-12 season with a 10-17 record, including eight wins over true Division I opponents. The Cougars finished 6-10 in their first year of competition in the Ohio Valley Conference. The 2012-2013 season will mark the first time SIUE is postseason eligible as a Division I program.