Central Oregon Hotshots head coach, JJ Anderson announced the signing of two players to the squad today; 6'8" guard/forward AJ Stallworth, a NBA Summer Camp-bound player and current leader of the ANBL's Georgia Grizzlies and 6'9", 265 lb. forward/center, Anthony "Teon" Knox, a former star of the England Basketball League.
Stallworth, a graduate of Life University in Marietta, Georgia, currently competes with the Georgia Grizzlies, in the American National Basketball League after having played with the Birmingham Magician of the ABA. Stallworth competed alongside Hotshots' fan favorite Arthur Lewis with the New York Nationals last year and will compete for time at the wing and forward positions. His versatility is evidenced by his February ANBL statistics where he averaged 24 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists per game. "AJ brings the right attitude about what needs to be done for us to be successful," said Anderson. "When we spoke, he said 'coach, if you need me to rebound, I'll rebound; you need me to defend, I'll defend; you need me to score, I'll score' - that's the mentality we're looking for in our players."
Stallworth's talent and work ethic haven't been lost by the Grizzlies organization. "Stallworth should join the roll call of ?million dollar' basketball players by the time we finish playing at the California summer pro league in Long Beach in July," stated Gwizzlies Coach & GM Embry Malone. "A.J. has paid his dues, has the skills, heart, drive, character, and attitude and deserves a chance to be in somebody's NBA camp this summer." Stallworth will get that opportunity in the Denver Nuggets summer camp tryout.
Stallworth will join Teon Knox as the newest members of the Hotshots. Knox, a graduate of Pikesville College in Kentucky averaged 22.4 PPG and 12.3 rebounds in MidSouth Conference action as a senior earning 2nd Team NAIA All-American and 1st Team All-Conference honors while leading his team to the National Tournament. Knox's stellar play led to an EBL (England) contract with 1st Team Worthing Thunder in 2004-2005, where he averaged over 20 points and 10 rebounds per game. Knox joined the San Luis Santos in Mexico last summer, before joining the Ireland Superleagues' Shamrocks Rover Hoops this past winter.
"Teon brings the same qualities that big Ralph (former Hotshot's center) brought last year," noted Anderson. "He's got a big frame and uses his size inside, but has excellent footwork and agility. He will bring a strong presence in the post for us at both the power forward and center positions."
Knox also has a Hotshot connection as he joins friend and fellow big man Michael Pitts in Central Oregon.
Both players will be arriving to Bend on March 7th and the team will have just 10 days to prepare for the regular season opening weekend on March 17th and 18th. The Hotshots will start the season with an intra-squad Black & gold Scrimmage on Monday, March 13th at Trinity Lutheran School and will feature a dunk contest and a sponsor, media and fans skills challenge. Information and tickets are available by calling 541-221-3157 or by visiting the team's website, www.hotshotsfan.com