By Joseph Staszewski
The St. John’s University men’s basketball roster just got bigger in more ways than one.
The Red Storm recently announced the signings of big men Adonis Delarosa (Christ the King) and Westchester Community College’s Keith Thomas.
The 6-foot-11, 265-pound Delarosa and the 6-foot-8, 230-pound Thomas will bolster a St. John’s front line that lost Orlando Sanchez and God’sgift Achiuwa and saw 6-9 small forward JaKarr Sampson leave after his sophomore season to pursue playing professionally.
Delarosa was an All-Queens first team selection by TimesLedger Newspapers last season. He is coming off leading the Royals to consecutive CHSAA Class AA intersectional titles and state Federation championships. Delarosa averaged 12 points and 12 rebounds last season and had the game-winning, three-point play in a city semifinal victory over Cardinal Hayes. He was the Red Storm’s first commitment to the 2014 recruiting class.
“Adonis has exceptionally good hands and a strong offensive skill set for a basketball player of his size and age,” St. John’s Coach Steve Lavin said. “He comes from an outstanding high school program with a tradition of winning championships.”
The Red Storm adds one of the nation’s top junior college players in Thomas. The former Mount Vernon star earned honorable mention NJCAA All-American honors and was named the NJCAA Region XV Player of the Year last season.
Thomas’ 15.7 rebounds per game were tops among all Division I junior college players. He also averaged 15.3 points per game and led Westchester Community College to a District III Championship crown and a trip to the 24-team NJCAA Division tournament.
“Keith is a strong, physical frontline player with a high aptitude for rebounding at both ends of the court,” Lavin said. “His experience of winning big at Westchester Community College has prepared him well for transitioning to our program here at St. John’s.”
The Johnnies are coming off a 20-13 campaign that saw them finish fifth in the Big East during the regular season. The campaign ended on a sour note with losses in their Big East and National Invitational tournament opens.
St. John’s is again expected be one of the Big East’s top teams with the return of guards D’Angelo Harrison, Rysheed Jordan and Phil Greene IV along with center Chis Obekpa.