Zags Add JUCO Big Man To The Fold
April 14, 2004
SPOKANE, Wash. - The Gonzaga University men's basketball team is reloading at the post position as Bulldogs head coach Mark Few announced the signing of junior college power forward/center J.P. Batista to a national letter of intent. The 6-8, 265 pound player hails from Pernambuco, Brazil, and is expected to help fill the void left by departing senior post players Cory Violette and Richard Fox.
Batista averaged 20.2 points and 9.2 rebounds per game last season playing for Barton County Community College in Kansas. He shot 62 percent from the floor and 77 percent from the foul line as he earned second team All-American honors. He helped lead Barton to a 25-9 record as the Cougars lost to Coffeyville Community College in the NJCAA Region VI Final. During Jayhawk Conference play, Batista was even more effective averaging 21.1 points per game to go along with 10.2 rebounds. He picked up 15 double-doubles on the season and scored more than 30 points on three occasions including a career-high of 32 against Northeastern JC and Allen County Community College.
Prior to attending Barton for his sophomore season, Batista played at Western Nebraska Community College during his freshman year averaging 13.6 points and six rebounds per game. He helped lead WNCC to an appearance in the NJCAA National Tournament after winning the Region IX Championship.
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