Stephenson Certified by NCAA to Compete Immediately|
Nov. 5, 2009
CINCINNATI - University of Cincinnati freshman men's basketball player Lance Stephenson (Brooklyn, N.Y./Abraham Lincoln) has been certified by the NCAA and can begin competing immediately beginning with tonight's (Nov. 5) exhibition game vs. Saginaw Valley State University.
"I am happy to be able to put this behind me," said Stephenson. "Since I committed to the Bearcats back in the summer, all I have wanted to do was get here and start playing ball with my teammates. I want to thank everyone that has given me encouragement and support during this, especially my family, coaches and teammates. They have been with me every step."
Stephenson, a 6-foot-5, 210-pound forward who was named the 2009 BIG EAST Conference Preseason Rookie of the Year, committed to the Bearcats on June 30 after a highly-decorated prep career at Lincoln, where he averaged 28.9 points, 10.2 rebounds, and 3.9 assists to earn Class AA New York State Sports Writers Association (NYSSWA) Player of the Year honors his senior year. He graduated high school as the all-time leading scorer in the history of the state of New York with 2,946 points, passing fellow Lincoln High grad Sebastian Telfair, who was the 13th overall pick in the 2004 NBA Draft and now plays for the Minnesota Timberwolves.
In 2008-09, Stephenson led Lincoln to an overall record of 22-11 and an unprecedented fourth consecutive Public School Athletic League (PSAL) Class AA championship. He scored 24 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in a 78-56 victory over John F. Kennedy in the league championship game. Stephenson, a three-time NYSSWA first-team selection, led the Railsplitters to state semifinals appearances his final three seasons, including Federation Tournament championships in 2007 and 2008.
Selected to play in the 2009 McDonald's All-American Game, Stephenson finished his high school career with 12 points, six assists and three steals as his East squad knocked off the West, 113-110, in the annual high school all-star showcase. The Bearcats open the 2009-10 season tonight with the first of two exhibitions.
The Bearcats open regular-season action on Nov. 16 vs. Prairie View A&M at 7:30 p.m. in Fifth Third Arena.