SE: Meet the Newcomers | Kamau Stokes & Carlbe Ervin II
SE: Meet the Newcomers | Kamau Stokes & Carlbe Ervin II
This year’s Wildcat men’s basketball team is filled with new faces of players from around the nation. Coming to K-State from coast to coast, these 10 newcomers each bring unique playing styles and personalities to this year’s squad. Tune in every other Tuesday as K-State Sports Extra, partnered with K-StateHD.TV, shares their stories.
STOKES EAGER TO LEAD
He may be young, but Kamau Stokes is ready to lead.
The freshman guard from Baltimore, Maryland, is one of seven scholarship newcomers on this year’s Wildcat roster and sees that as an opportunity to shine from the start.
“It’s definitely a great opportunity for everybody on this team,” Stokes said. “Everybody should be stepping up to be a leader, we should take on our responsibilities and we should get on each other when it’s time for that. I think everybody has the opportunity to be a leader on this team.”
Stokes comes to K-State after spending one postgraduate year at Fork Union Military Academy in Fork Union, Virginia. With Fork Union, the 6-foot guard shined at the 2014 National Prep Showcase (Nov. 21-22, 2014) in New Haven Connecticut, where he averaged 30 points per game.
“I am a point guard who can score the ball,” said Stokes when asked to describe his game. “I’m very fast, very intense on defense and that’s going to play a major part in my role on this team because the more pressure I put on the ball, the tougher it makes it for the opposing team’s offense.”
Prior to his time at Fork Union, Stokes played two years at City College High School (junior/senior) and two years at John Carroll High School (freshman/sophomore) in Baltimore where he guided his teams to two state championships and two Catholic League titles.
During his senior season, Stokes helped lead City College High to a perfect 27-0 record, a Class 3A state title and a No. 18 national record while averaging 15 points, 7 assists and 4 rebounds. His stellar performance earned him First Team All-Metro honors from the Baltimore Sun.
While he may enjoy shooting the ball, Stokes’ first priority is putting up a tough defensive front.
“Every team I’ve been on, we’ve won championships because we’ve played defense,” explained Stokes. “Defense really does win championships because when you play defense you get the ball, then offense will take care of itself.”
He’s won championships before, so it should come as no surprise he expects to do the same at K-State.
“Win a Big 12 Championship, that’s my goal,” he said. “The Big 12 Championship and the NCAA Tournament, those are my goals.”
ERVIN READY TO SHINE, AGAIN
Carlbe Ervin II, a 6-foot-3 guard from Oklahoma City, comes to K-State after spending two successful seasons at Connors State College in Warner, Oklahoma.
“I didn’t know where I wanted to go at first,” explained Ervin about his path to K-State, “but I chose K-State because I loved everything about it and it was a good fit for me. It’s been a culture change, but it’s been fun. It’s been really fun to get to know the guys. It’s been a good environment for me.”
During Ervin’s years at Connors State, he helped the Cowboys to a 53-9 combined record. In his second season (2014-15), the team earned a program best 30-game winning streak and finished the year with a 30-2 record and Region II and Oklahoma Collegiate Athletics conference titles along with the top-seed at the NJCAA Tournament.
After averaging 16 points per game on 53-percent shooting (27.8 percent from the 3-point range) his sophomore year, he was named an NJCAA Division I First Team All-American as well as Region II Player of the Year. Along with his 16 points, he also averaged 8.2 assists, 6.3 rebounds and 1.6 steals per game.
“My style? I do whatever it takes to win,” explained Ervin. “Diving on the floor, bringing balance as a guard, pushing the ball and scoring; that’s how I play.”
Ervin is a gritty player who never gives up, never gives in. With an attitude like that, he’s a perfect fit for this year’s Wildcat men’s basketball squad.
“What I like about this group is that everybody plays hard and everybody wants to win,” said Ervin. “Our chemistry is on. Everybody is about the family; everybody is about winning… We know we’re going to have to work very hard. We’ve got to work and work, harder than all previous years.”
The Wildcats tip off the 2015-16 season with a pair of exhibition games – Emporia State on Friday, Oct. 30, and Fort Hays State on Friday, Nov. 6 – in Bramlage Coliseum. The Cats will host Maryland-Eastern Shore on Friday, Nov. 13, for the first game of the regular season.
Single-game tickets for the 19-game home schedule, excluding the Kansas game, went on sale to the public on Monday. A new single-game ticket package is now available for all exhibition and non-conference games in 2015. The Bramlage Bundle includes a game ticket, $10 concessions voucher and a souvenir from the K-State Super Store for just $20 per package. A minimum order of two Bramlage Bundles is required per game. Souvenir options include a t-shirt, lanyard, mini-basketball or keychain. For more information about these tickets, please click here.
Season tickets for the 2015-16 season, as well as the Holiday and 6-Game Mini-Plans, are now available and can be purchased in a variety of ways, including toll free at (800) 221.CATS (2287), online at www.kstatesports.com/tickets and in-person at the Athletics Ticket Office located in Bramlage Coliseum.
“I’m kind of nervous, but I’m not that scared,” said Ervin with a smile about playing in his first game in Bramlage Coliseum. “I’m ready, I’m hyped up, but I do get nervous sometimes because everything is new to me. But that first game, I run what it’s going to be like through my mind a lot.
“I think I’m going to just close my eyes and play my heart out.”
We hope you enjoy K-State Sports Extra. We would like to hear your comments and any story ideas for future emails, so fire them our way. Contact Kelly McHugh-Stewart or K-State Assistant AD for Communications Kenny Lannou.