BANNER ELK, N.C. --- Josh Gaither (Statesville, N.C.) and Chase Arnold (Kingsport, Tenn.) have signed National Letters of Intent to attend Lees-McRae College and play men's basketball in the fall of 2013, joining an already strong recruiting class, announced head coach Steve Hardin Monday.
"Josh and Chase will be great freshmen for our program," praised Hardin. "They both are winners, hard workers, and want to contribute towards the future of LMC basketball. These four freshmen signees fit our culture and style of Bobcat basketball for the future."
Gaither comes to Lees-McRae from Statesville High School in Statesville, N.C., where he led his team to three conference championships and the state championship game this spring. The 6-3 guard is a four-time all-conference selection, who was named to the all-state team this season as well as the North Piedmont Conference Player of the Year.
A native of Statesville, N.C., Gaither averaged 14 points, five assists, and five rebounds this season, as Statesville lost by one point in the state championship game this spring. During his four-year tenure, Statesville compiled an 83-17 overall record.
"Josh is a winner," expressed Hardin. "He will do whatever it takes to help the team have success. Josh is a strong guard that can score in many ways, and can also defend multiple positions. He played in a successful high school program and always came up big in tournament time. The best way I can describe Josh is as a true winner and extremely hard worker. We are excited to have him in our Bobcat basketball family."
Arnold joins the Bobcats from Sullivan North High School in Kingsport, Tenn., where he averaged 26.4 points, 10.1 rebounds, and 3.2 steals per game as a senior, while leading the state of Tennessee in double-doubles. The 2013 Northeast Tennessee Player of the Year concludes his career at Sullivan North as the school's all-time leader in both points and rebounds, totaling 2,150 markers and 1,012 boards.
The Kingsport, Tenn. native garnered Tennessee Elite 11 honors this season, as well as being selected as the district player of the year. Arnold is a two-time conference player of the year honoree, while also earning a spot on the all-region team in each of the last three seasons.
"Chase is a hard worker," said Hardin. "He plays extremely hard and has great skill to go along with his determination. I feel our program signed the best all around player out of east Tennessee.
"Chase had many games where he scored 40 and 50 points this year, but what I was impressed with not only his ability to shoot the ball and score in a variety of ways, but his willingness to battle and play hard all the time. Chase is also another perfect example of what a student-athlete is all about in that he brings his hard work to the classroom as well as the court."
Gaither and Arnold join an already impressive recruiting class for the Bobcats, which already includes Daruis Malbon (Hickory, N.C.) and Mike Chambers (Winston-Salem, N.C.). Malbon and Chambers were featured in the first installment of the Bobcats' new recruits series, which can be found here.
"'FIRE' is our brand of basketball, which means Fearless, Intense, Relentless, and Effort. We will constantly put pressure on our opponent's 94 feet and for 40 minutes. Check in every Monday for more Bobcat basketball signees."
- LMC -