NIAGARA UNIV., N.Y. – First-year head coach Chris Casey has added four new members to the Purple Eagles as part of his first recruiting class. Coming to Niagara are guard Karonn Davis and Emile Blackman, and forwards Aaron Bodie and Dominique Reid.
Karonn Davis | Guard | 6-2 | 185 | Philadelphia, Pa. | Friend’s Central High School
Davis comes to Niagara after playing at a winning program at Friend’s Central High School in Philadelphia. Davis, who transferred from Monsignor Bonner after two years, won a pair of Pennsylvania Independent Schools state titles and advanced to three straight Friends Schools League title including winning it in 2011. The 2011 team finished with a 22-4 record and was ranked as high as 21st in the nation.
Davis led the 2012-13 team to a 20-8 record, including a 7-0 record in regular season league play. He averaged 19.2 points per game and 6.2 rebounds per game. He selected Niagara over Albany, LIU Brooklyn, Nevada, NJIT, Rider and Quinnipiac.
The 6-foot-2 combo guard was described as a “capable scorer, a solid distributor and rebounds surprisingly well for his size” by Philly.com’s Rick O’Brien.
“Karon will play both guard spots,” Casey said. “He can score the ball in transition and in the half court and his quickness will add to our pressure defense.”
Aaron Bodie | Forward | 6-7 | 195 | Newark, N.J. | Eastside High School/CJEOTO Academy
Bodie was a four-year letterwinner and three-year starter at Newark Eastside High School, a powerhouse program in Essex County in Northern New Jersey. The 6-foot-7 forward used his athletic build to averaged 12 points per game as a junior and senior. Bodie helped lead the Red Raiders to a 19-6 record and a semifinal appearance in the NJSIAA North 2 Group 3 playoffs as a senior in 2012 en route to earning second team All-Group 3 and second team All-Super Essex Conference.
Bodie spent the 2012-13 season playing basketball at the Central Jersey Each One Teach One Academy (CJEOTO).
“Aaron’s athleticism will add rebounding and defense to our frontcourt,” Casey said. “He can score in transition and is a good finisher around the basket.”
Emile Blackman | Guard | 6-4 | 195 | Redshirt Freshman | Dix Hills, N.Y. | LIU Post
Blackman played in 26 of the 27 games for the LIU Post Pioneers last season who finished 18-9. Blackman, who is the nephew of former NBA veteran and current Golden State head coach Mark Jackson, blossom in the last 10 games of last season. Blackman averaged 12.7 points per game while shooting 57 percent from the field and 56 percent from behind the arc. He scored in double figures in the final six games of the season.
Prior to LIU Post, played for Half Hollow Hills West High School in Dix Hills, N.Y. where he helped the Colts to two Suffolk County and Long Island Championships, as well as a state final four appearance and a championship game appearance. A two-time all-county and All-Long Island selection, he holds the record for most games played (89) and is the all-time second leading scorer (1,257 points).
Blackman will have to redshirt for the 2013-14 season due to NCAA transfer rules.
“Emile is a very athletic wing who can shoot the ball from the three-point line,” Casey said. “He will add scoring and rebounding to our perimeter.”
Dominique Reid | Forward | 6-8 | 200 | Erial, N.J. | Timber Creek
Reid, who is a frontcourt player, has been praised for his ball handling ability and shooting touch of a guard. Reid played two seasons at Timber Creek High School in Erial, N.J. Reid sat out the early portion of his junior season after transferring from Trenton Catholic. He made an immediate impact once eligible, including a four-game span of averaging 22 points and 15 rebounds per game. He finished the season averaging 20.1 points per game.
As a senior, Reid helped the Chargers advanced to the 2013 NJSIAA Tournament South Jersey Group 3 Final. Reid was named to the Third Team All-Courier-Post and First Team All-Group III. Reid had offers from St. Joseph’s, Robert Morris, Delaware, Florida Atlantic and Providence as early as his junior season.
“Dominique’s size, athleticism, and aggressiveness fit perfectly with our style of play,” Casey said. “We are excited to have him.”