By Matt Nestor
Prep Sports Reporter
The Rock Valley College men’s basketball team has added to a strong recruiting class after a strong season sent them to the National Junior College Division III tournament.
Already bolstered by the addition of local standouts Jared Mayes and L.T. Davis of Rockford Jefferson, Darius Brown of Belvidere, and Jontrell Robinson from Rockford East, the Golden Eagles have added one of the top players in the entire state.
East star Isaiah Box has signed to play at Rock Valley, where he will continue his career after leading East to a 17-11 record and an IHSA Regional Championship appearance as a senior.
“I can see him going in right away and making a contribution,” East coach Roy Sackmaster said. “He can be a leader for the program because of his character and his work ethic.”
It is part of an ongoing resurgence of the entire Rock Valley athletic program as they become a national power in NJCAA athletics.
Not only do the Golden Eagles compete at a national level, but they do it with a large presence by athletes in the stateline area. Their women’s basketball team won a national championship, and the men were in the national tournament after moving on from regionals.
Head Coach Craig Doty, with a hand from local and state legend Steve Goers, has built up a power program in a basketball-crazed city that is looking for something higher than the high school level to get behind.
“It’s exciting for the city of Rockford,” Sackmaster said. “We have a resource locally with some great coaches over there, and it’s great to see some of our local talent get a chance to play at the next level.”
In other basketball news, another local player is working his way to making a major splash in the basketball world after he finishes his upcoming senior season.
Rockford Boylan guard Brock Stull has received the first of what is expected to be many NCAA Division I basketball offers after receiving an offer from the University of Albany over the weekend.
“He’s improved pretty much everything,” Boylan Coach Mike Winters said. “He’s playing really good at the point guard spot. We’ve been able to move him in and out of the point guard and shooting guard spot, and he is creating really well for his teammates off the dribble.”
Stull had a dynamite season for the Titans as a junior, elevating his game while the team fought off injuries on its way to a sectional title. He has taken his game to another level during the all-important AAU season this summer, leading to Division I interest.
“What is noticeable is his athleticism is off the roof,” Winters said. “He is dunking everything in the lane and really attacking the basket. He’s added another dimension to his game besides being a great 3-point shooter.”
From the July 17-23, 2013, issue