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Georgian Court University Men’s Basketball Announces Historic Inaugural Recruiting Class

Lakewood, N.J., Dec. 4, 2012—The Georgian Court University men’s basketball program made history last Monday, November 26, with the signing of the first four student-athletes to its inaugural 2013 recruiting class. Hamilton Capellan (Bound Brook HS/NJ), Alex Ramirez (North Rockland HS/NY), Jalen Robinson (Bowie HS/MD), and Jonathan Rodriguez (Bound Brook HS/NJ) were all on campus with their families to secure their commitment to GCU's first ever men’s basketball team.

“To say we’re ecstatic would be an understatement,” said Head Coach Enrico Mastroianni. “I am so deeply honored that these exceptional young men and their families have chosen to put their faith in our staff and our program to help guide them through their collegiate experience; they will forever be a part of our history and more importantly, our future!”

In addition to having academic success, these men have had tremendous success on the court as well. Capellan had an outstanding junior season at Bound Brook, leading his team in scoring at 15 ppg. He helped guide the team to a 22-6 record, one of best records in school history. He scored a career high 31 points in the quarterfinal game last season, while earning an All-Group 1 All-State Honorable Mention, All-Somerset County 2nd Team, All-Courier News 3rd Team, Skyland Conference 1st Team, and ranking as one of the top 75 high school players in the state of New Jersey.

“Hamilton has incredible scoring potential, but more impressive is the effort he brings defensively," said Head Coach Mastroianni. “I know that he will be a phenomenal college player, and I’m grateful that he’ll be on our side.”

Capellan’s long-time friend and new teammate, Rodriguez, had similar success at Cardinal McCarrick High School as a junior. He helped guide McCarrick to the semifinals of the Greater Middlesex County (GMC) tournament while leading the team in assists. He finished his junior season as an All-Conference and All-Area selection and also was ranked as a top 75 player in the state of New Jersey.

“Both of these guys impressed me so much during the summer and played so well together, it was only fitting for them to continue their on-court chemistry in college,” Coach Mastroianni continued. “JD (Jonathan) is a lights-out shooter and fearless attacker offensively. Knowing he’s not afraid to take the big shot is a big plus for me.”

Heading north from Bowie, Maryland to join the Lions, Robinson completed his junior season averaging a double-double with 13.5 ppg and 11.3 rpg, which included a 27-point, 21-rebound effort vs. High Point High School. He was named to the Prince George’s All-County Honorable Mention team. An honor-roll student throughout his entire junior year, Jalen has maintained that status in his first semester as a senior with a 3.85 GPA.

“What impressed me most about Jalen was his maturity and leadership initiative. He’s a guy that I feel confident will demonstrate a character that all of our players will aspire to emulate,” praised Head Coach Mastroianni. “Jalen’s strong frame, combined with his versatility, will present serious match-up problems for opponents."

From Rockland County, New York, comes point guard Alex Ramirez, who averaged 13.5 ppg, eight rpg, and 10 apg during his junior season while also serving as a team captain. His AAU team, the New York Falcons, was the 2009 National Runners-Up in Las Vegas. As a sophomore, he was named to the Beacon All-Tournament team and was named tournament MVP in his junior year. Ramirez has also been selected to his All-Section and All-County teams while also excelling academically as a perennial member of the honor roll.

“Alex is lightning quick and sees the floor extremely well,” explained Head Coach Mastroianni. “He is a very smart player who makes great decisions with the ball. He is an amazing shooter with deep range and a pesky defender creating havoc for opposing ball handlers—his exceptional work ethic will ensure his success.”

While the Lions will be looking forward to the next signing period in April, things have certainly gotten off to a great start. “I can’t express enough how excited I am to know that these four young men will be paving the way for our future success,” said Head Coach Mastroianni. “Regardless of their athletic achievements, these are character-driven individuals that I am proud will represent this program for the years ahead.”

Founded in 1908 and sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, Georgian Court University is a comprehensive university with a strong liberal arts core and a special concern for women. A forward-thinking university that supports diversity and academic excellence, Georgian Court announced in May 2012 its transition to become a fully coeducational university in 2013. Today, the university serves more than 2,500 students of all faiths and backgrounds in both undergraduate and graduate programs. Georgian Court's main campus is located at 900 Lakewood Avenue, Lakewood, N.J., on the picturesque former George Jay Gould estate, now named a National Historic Landmark. Georgian Court also offers classes at its site at One Woodbridge Center in Woodbridge and at the New Jersey Coastal Communiversity in Wall.

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