The Wyoming men’s basketball program added Alabama transfer Charles Hankerson Jr. Monday. Here is the official release from UW. For more on the story, see Tuesday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang.
LARAMIE — University of Wyoming head basketball coach Larry Shyatt announced Monday that Charles Hankerson Jr. has signed a scholarship offer and will transfer to UW from the University of Alabama. He will sit out the 2012-13 season to fulfill NCAA transfer rules, and will have two years of eligibility remaining.
“[Hankerson] Junior is as mature a young man as we’ll have at Wyoming,” Shyatt said. “Most importantly, he embodies everything we are about on and off the court. Our coaching staff is excited that we’ve got a young leader that is going to have 15-16 months to get acclimated to our program and give us a huge boost when Luke [Martinez] graduates.”
Hankerson comes to the Cowboys after helping the Crimson Tide advance to the postseason the past two seasons under head coach Anthony Grant. The 6-5, 210-pound guard averaged 3.6 points and 1.5 rebounds while playing 11 minutes per game in 30 appearances during the 2011-12 campaign. He scored in double digits three times during the season, including a career-high 16 points against Alabama A&M, and led UA in three-pointers four times. The Tide finished the season at 21-12 after losing to Creighton in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
As a freshman in 2010-11, Hankerson made five starts and 26 appearances. He played in eight SEC contests during the season and one tournament game. He played 14 minutes per contest during Alabama’s run to the NIT title game, as the Tide finished with a 25-12 record.
“Junior is a versatile athlete for the two guard position and has the ability to score,” Shyatt said. “When he has the ball in his hands he can really make plays and still maintain an unselfish style. He has a toughness and physicality that gives us a big guard in the back court that we need to compete in the Mountain West. He’s going to be very familiar with our coaching style and vocabulary, as Anthony [Grant], Allen [Edwards], Jeremy [Shyatt] and I have all coached together at one time or another. That gives Junior a great head start down the road.”
Hankerson had a standout prep career for Coral Reef High School in Miami, Fla. As a senior, he averaged 31.0 points and 11.3 rebounds per game to earn a four-star rating from Scout.com and was ranked the No. 26 shooting guard prospect in the nation. He was named the Miami Herald 6A-5A Player of the Year as a junior after averaging 21.6 points and 6.0 rebounds while leading Coral Reef to its first-ever state title. Hankerson was recruited by Shyatt while he was at Florida and Allen Edwards and Jeremy Shyatt while they were at Virginia Commonwealth University.
“Our coaching staff goes back several years with Junior and his family,” Shyatt said. “We thought the world of him then, and we feel the same now. Junior was a prolific scorer in South Florida who was being heavily recruited. He ended up playing at Alabama, but we never forgot about him.”
Hankerson is the son of Charles Sr. and Cheryl Hankerson. His father played basketball at Hampton University and is second all-time in school history with 551 assists from 1979-83.
“This is great timing for Junior, his family and the University of Wyoming,” Shyatt said. “We are excited, and I’m not sure there could have been a better fit for everyone involved.”