COLUMBUS, Ohio-Jim O'Brien, Ohio State head men's basketball coach, announced the addition of junior guard Je'Kel Foster to the Ohio State program Tuesday. Foster, a 6-foot-3-inch, 205-pound guard from Natchez, Miss., signed an NCAA national letter of intent and will have two years of eligibility with the Buckeyes beginning with the 2004-05 season.
Foster, a 2004 NJCAA Division I First Team All-American, played his sophomore season at Chipola Junior College in Marianna, Fla. He played his high school ball at Natchez (Miss.) High School.
"He brings an element of toughness," O'Brien said. "He is a good defender with the ability to make open shots. More importantly, Je'Kel has demonstrated clear leadership qualities. We think Je'Kel will be a good fit within our program. He comes from a successful program and has played the last two years for Chris Jans, a highly-respected coach."
As a junior college player, Foster played for Jans at Howard Junior College in Big Spring, Texas, as a freshman. There he helped his team to a 30-2 record before moving on to Chipola with Jans. Howard was ranked as high as No. 2 in the NJCAA during the 2002-03 season and finished No. 15.
In his freshman campaign, Foster averaged 15.3 points and 5.4 rebounds, both team highs, while leading the team in scoring 16 times. He was the squad's top rebounder in 10 games. His 30 points against Mountain View was the team's season high scoring output in a single game. He also led the team with 12 field goals in a single game and had a team season high with six made 3-pointers in another contest.
For the 2002-03 season, Foster connected on 182-of-388 field goals (.469), 79-of-199 attempts from 3-point range (.397) and 47-of-67 foul shots (.701). He also contributed 82 assists and a team best 77 steals.
At Chipola, Foster was the 2004 Florida Junior College Player of the Year and the 2004 Florida Junior College Tournament MVP.
He averaged 17 points, 5.5 assists and 5.1 rebounds while making 44 percent of his 3-point attempts (91-221) and 83 percent of his foul shots (108-129) for a team that finished with a 32-5 record a year ago. Chipola finished sixth in the 2004 NJCAA postseason tournament.
Foster joins a trio of freshmen Buckeye recruits for the 2004-05 season. Jamar Butler, a 6-2 point guard from Lima, Ohio, Matt Terwilliger, a 6-8 forward/center from Troy, Ohio, and Jermyl Jackson-Wilson, a 6-7 forward from Milwaukee, Wis., all begin eligibility with Ohio State in the fall.