April 13, 2011
DEKALB, Ill. - Northern Illinois men's basketball head coach Mark Montgomery announced on Wednesday that Marquavese Ford, Keith Gray and Kevin Gray have signed national letters of intent to join the Huskie basketball program in the fall.
Ford is a 6-foot-2 guard from Saginaw High School in Saginaw, Mich., while Keith and Kevin Gray are 6-foot-7 twin forwards from Brooks College Prep Academy in Chicago, Ill.
"We are very excited to have these three young men joining our program," said Montgomery. "Marquavese, Keith and Kevin all represent the type of student-athlete we are looking to bring here to NIU. They are skilled, hard-working players that have excellent athletic ability and will be valuable additions to our team."
Marquavese Ford was a Detroit Free Press Class A All-State Second Team selection while averaging 22 points, six assists, five steals and three rebounds per game at Saginaw High School. Ford helped lead the Trojans to a 20-3 record and the Saginaw Valley Conference championship.
Ford was a first team all-conference selection and was also named to the Saginaw Valley Dream Team. He was also recruited by Central Florida, Louisiana Tech and Wright State.
"Marquavese is very quick; he is one of the top combo guards in the State of Michigan," said Montgomery. "He can shoot from the outside and is a very talented offensive player. What sets Marquavese apart is his defensive skills and his passion to play defense. He has excellent anticipation on that end of the floor, which allowed him to average five steals a game in high school. He is an excellent student, was a scholar athlete at Saginaw High, and was also the quarterback on the football team."
Keith Gray averaged 15.7 points, 11.0 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game while helping to lead Chicago Brooks to a 28-3 record and a third-place finish in the Illinois Class 3A State Tournament. Keith Gray was named to the Champaign News-Gazette All-State Second Team and was selected to participate in the Chicago Public League Basketball Coaches Association All-Star Game.
Keith Gray scored 22 points and grabbed 18 rebounds this season in a game against Chicago Simeon, the ninth-ranked team in the nation by USA Today. Keith Gray was recruited by St. Peter's, UC Irvine, Illinois State and Indiana State among others.
"Keith is an excellent scorer and has the potential to play three positions in college," said Montgomery. "He is a versatile player that can play the four-spot and the wing. He is an all-around player whose game is constantly improving. Keith is very athletic and can do a lot of good things offensively. He has an excellent feel for the game; he is a terrific passer and is a very good shot blocker with both hands."
Kevin Gray helped Chicago Brooks to a third-place finish in the Illinois Class 3A State Tournament. Kevin Gray averaged 11.4 points, 9.7 rebounds and 1.8 assists while helping Brooks to a 28-3 record. Kevin Gray, who was recruited by St. Peter's, UC Irvine, Illinois State and Indiana State, was chosen to play in the Chicago Public League Basketball Coaches Association All-Star Game.
"Kevin has a tremendous upside," said Montgomery. "He is a very good defensive player and has the ability to guard many different positions on the floor. Kevin is an excellent rebounder, particularly offensively, which will fit with the style of play that we are looking to have here at NIU. Both Kevin, and his brother Keith, were extremely well coached at Brooks by Chris Head and Bobby Locke, and that shows in the intelligence they display on the court."
Ford and the Gray twins join Zach Miller from Glenbard East High School in Lombard, Ill., and DeAndre Barnette from Liberty Tech in Jackson, Tenn., as members of the NIU 2011-12 signing class. Miller and Barnette signed during the November signing period.