Aggies sign local Juco All-American

Aggies sign local Juco All-American

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LOGAN, Utah - For the second time in the last three years Utah State's men's basketball team will welcome a junior college All-American to its program as coach Stew Morrill announced Wednesday the signing of Gary Wilkinson (South Jordan, Utah) to a National Letter of Intent to compete for the Aggies beginning in the 2007-08 season.

Wilkinson, a 6-9, 240-pound forward, just completed his sophomore season at Salt Lake Community College and will have two years of eligibility with Utah State. He joins former Aggie Chaz Spicer (Indianapolis, Ind.,) as junior college All-American's who have signed with Utah State under Morrill.

"Gary is an important addition to our basketball program," said Morrill. "His size and ability will give us more firepower at our post positions. He possesses great hands and excellent touch and is a mature young man. Gary has been very well coached in junior college and we are delighted to welcome him and his wife Jessica to our Utah State family."

As a sophomore at Salt Lake Community College, Wilkinson earned National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Honorable Mention All-American honors as he averaged 18.5 points and 8.1 rebounds per game and shot 60.2 percent from the field and 74.2 percent from the free throw line. He ranked third in the Scenic West Athletic Conference (SWAC) and 38th in the nation in scoring, and was first in the conference in rebounding as he led the Bruins to a 24-9 overall record.

During his sophomore season, Wilkinson scored in double-figures 30 time including a career-high 33 points against the College of Eastern Utah on Jan. 5 as he was 12-of-17 from the field and nine-of-12 from the free throw line. He also posted eight double-doubles on the year and had a season-high 15 rebounds against the College of Southern Idaho on Feb. 17.

"I feel like Utah State is the best program in the state and the best fit for me," said Wilkinson. "I don't think there is a better big-man coach to play for than Coach Morrill and it was an easy choice to make on where I should continue my career. There are a lot of guys returning next year (for Utah State) and I want to come in and work hard and hopefully help the team win."

As a freshman at Salt Lake Community College, Wilkinson earned NJCAA Third-Team All-American honors as he averaged 14.6 points and 7.0 rebounds, while shooting 61.3 percent from the field and 73.1 percent from the free throw line. He also earned Academic All-American honors as a freshman at Salt Lake Community College.

"Gary is a very skilled basketball player that works hard and has very good hands," said Salt Lake Community College head coach Norm Parrish who led the Bruins to their fifth straight 20-win season this year. "He is very coachable and likes structure so he will do well in Coach Morrill's system."

Wilkinson, who attended Bingham High School in South Jordan, Utah, was also recruited by Boise State, Brigham Young, Fresno State, Miami (Fla.), Oregon, San Diego State, San Jose State, Southern Mississippi, Texas Tech, and UNLV.

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