NEW YORK – Columbia men's basketball head coach Jim Engles will welcome six newcomers to comprise the Class of 2021. Guards Tai Bibbs, Myles Hanson, Jake Klores and Gabe Stefanini along with forwards Randy Broumant and Jaron Faulds will join the Lions' roster in 2017-18. The group hails from five different states and includes one international (Italy) student-athlete.
Bibbs will join fellow Chicago-area native Mike Smith in 2017-18 after a stellar career at West Chicago High School where he graduated as the school's third all-time leading scorer. As a senior, Bibbs averaged 26 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.6 steals on his way to earning second team all-state and conference MVP honors. Bibbs was also named all-area and all-conference as a junior, helping West Chicago win a league championship in 2016. In the classroom, he recorded a 4.7 GPA and was on the high honor roll selection each semester.
Brumant is the first Texan to join the men's basketball program since Kashif Sweet '08CC donned the blue and white in the 2007-08 campaign. He spent 2016-17 at the Kent School in Connecticut for a postgrad year where he won a Founders League Championship and picked up Class A First Team All-New England honors. As a senior at St. Thomas, Brumant was second team all-state and first team all-district to go with a district team title.
Faulds is coming off a first team all-state selection after posting 17.0 points, 11.5 rebounds and 4.0 blocks per game as a senior at Holt High School. He was rated as the No. 31 overall center and the No. 6 player in Michigan by ESPN.com in the Class of 2017. Faulds holds his school's career records in blocks (261) and rebounds (782), set the single-season rebounding mark with 278 and recorded two triple doubles in 2016-17. A three-time CAAC Blue All-Conference selection, Faulds was a part of two district championship teams and won a league title in 2014.
Hanson became Chaska High School's all-time leading scorer with 2,006 career points after a stellar senior campaign. He was named conference player of the year after averaging 24.2 points, 10 rebounds and 3.5 assists. Hanson helped Chaska reach the state tournament, hitting a game-winning layup as time expired in 2017 and won three conference crowns and a sectional title last season. As a junior, he was named second team all-state.
New York City native Klores is staying home after wrapping up a fine three-year career at Riverdale Country School in the Bronx. In 2016-17, he was named NYSSWA Class B All-State to go with first team BCANY All-Section and BCANY All-Area and All-Ivy Preparatory League. Klores registered 19.3 points and 8.2 assists per game as a senior and played on the Nike EYBL circuit with the powerhouse NY Rens.
Born in Bologna, Italy, Stefanini joins the Lions after two solid seasons with Bergen Catholic in New Jersey. As a senior, he averaged 18.0 points per game on his way to garnering second team all-state recognition. Stefanini also was named first team all-league and all-county after helping Bergen Catholic reach the state finals in 2017.
True Blue ticket packages for 2017-2018 are on sale now. True Blue fans receive season tickets for all three ticketed Columbia sport programs (football, men's and women's basketball) for as low as $170. For more information, visit gocolumbialions.com/tickets or call 888-LIONS-11 today.