TAMPA - On Wednesday, University of South Florida men's basketball coach Stan Heath announced the signing of point guard LaVonte Dority and center Waverly Austin to NCAA Letters of Intent during the November signing period.
"We continue to recruit and bring in higher quality players to improve our program each year," said Coach Heath on the recent signings. "I expect Lavonte and Waverly to be the cornerstone of our future and I'm excited they are going to be a part of the USF basketball program."
Dority is a 6-0, 180-pount point guard from Chicago's Edwin G. Foreman High, where he averaged 20 points, six assists and 4.8 rebounds last season. One of four Division I signees on his high school team, Dority led the Hornets to a 19-7 record in the Chicago Public League. Dority's strengths include creating scoring opportunities and attacking the basket. He is rated by ESPN as one of the top 50 point guards in the country.
Dority, who holds a 3.0 GPA at Foreman, is interested in majoring in business management and communications at USF. LaVonte, the son of Lorenzo James and Toya Dority, chose USF over New Mexico, Wisconsin and Baylor.
"LaVonte is a point guard that has playmaking abilities and has scoring capabilities as well," said Heath. "He is physically a very strong guard as a high school senior, and I think that will help him be ready to play early in his career and to be an impact player. He plays in a basketball city that produces guards year after year, so hopefully he will be a player that we talk about in the same breath as some of those notable Chicago guards."
Austin, at 6-10, 250-pounds, is ranked by ESPN as the 54th-best center in the country. Hailing from Fredericksburg, Va., Austin currently plays for Heat Basketball Academy in Martinsville, Va. Last season he helped God's Academy, a prep school in North Texas, to a 35-9 record in 2009, averaging 16.2 points, 7.9 rebounds and 3.4 blocks. He has also attended Courtland High School in Virginia and Yulee High School in Jacksonville, where his mother lives, and played AAU ball for the Delaware Takeover.
Austin runs the floor well and does a good job of crashing the boards on both ends while having a nice mid-range game. Defensively he has the ability to alter or block a lot of shots with his jumping ability.
Waverly is the son of Ilona Austin and plans to study computer networking at USF. He chose USF over Cincinnati, Florida International and Georgetown.
"At 6-10, 240-pounds, Waverly is just scratching the surface of his ability," said Heath. "He has good skills, good hands for a big guy, he runs the floor and he plays above the rim. It's just a matter of him learning the college system, getting bigger and stronger, and developing his skills to use at this level. We expect him to be a very productive player for USF."