Hempstead, NY (Nov. 9) * Swingman Nathaniel Lester and power forward/center Dane Johnson, both natives of Brooklyn, NY, signed national letters of intent with the Hofstra Men's Basketball team during the early signing period, it was announced today by Head Coach Tom Pecora.
Lester and Johnson will take the Pride's two available scholarship positions, which will be vacated by graduating seniors Loren Stokes (Buffalo, NY) and Carlos Rivera (San German, PR) at the end of this year.
Lester is a 6-4 scorer, who can play either the shooting guard or small forward position. Lester is considered by some recruiting analysts to be the top senior in New York City this year, after averaging 24.5 points per game at Canarsie High School as a junior during the 2005-06 season, while leading the team to the Public School Athletic League (PSAL) semifinals. He also averaged 21.4 points and 10 rebounds per game as a sophomore during the 2004-05 campaign. He was a New York Post All-PSAL selection last year.
Johnson is a 6-10, 290-pound center, who is entering his second season at Mt. San Jacinto College, a junior college which is ranked first in the state of California heading into this season. Johnson helped the Eagles to a 24-11 record and an appearance in the regional finals as a freshman last year, although his playing time was limited after recovering from knee surgery.
Johnson previously attended Paul Robeson High School in Brooklyn, NY, where he averaged 13 points and eight rebounds per game as a senior in 2003-04. Among his highlights at Robeson were a pair of buzzer-beaters in big tournament victories. He had a dramatic follow-up dunk at the buzzer to upset top-seeded Grady High School in the second overtime at the Brooklyn Borough Championship Tournament. He also had a put-back at the buzzer to defeat Montclair (N.J.) in the East Orange Basketball Tournament championship game.
"We are very excited to have Nathaniel Lester and Dane Johnson become a part of the Hofstra Basketball family," said Pecora. "They are both committed, unselfish, hard-working players, and we believe that they will fit perfectly into our program here at Hofstra."