LEWISTON, Idaho – Three incoming freshmen round out the 2023-24 squad for Lewis-Clark State Men’s Basketball, announced by coach Austin Johnson on Tuesday. The group includes two Southern California products, Jayceon Smith and Alton Hamilton, as well as Washington native Josh Salguero. The trio join fellow freshman Macarhy Morris as part of the incoming class.
“We are excited to announce the signing of Jayceon, Joshua and Alton,” Johnson said. “I believe each of these guys has faced different types of adversity over the years and are ready to take the next step in their careers with confidence. They’ve all been a part of winning programs and grown into significant impactful players on those teams. Each of these three love the game of basketball and have a hunger to improve and impact winning at the college level. They are great teammates and have the appropriate level of humility in knowing they need to get better and stronger. They will make our program better both in the present and in the future. We’re grateful they chose LC and we can’t wait to get to work with them.”
Jayceon Smith – Riverside, Calif./Martin Luther King Jr. High School
Smith is coming off an impressive senior season where he helped King High School to 19 wins and appearance in the CIF Quarterfinals. Along with team success, the 6-2 guard put together an elite senior season where he averaged 22 points, six rebounds and six assists per game. For his standout play he was recognized as an All-Big 8 selection along with multiple all-tournament team selections. Smith was also named team MVP and Second-Team All-CIF. He played club basketball for the Gelaun Wheelright coached Hoop Nation.
“I chose LC because of the family-oriented environment and commitment to personal growth,” Smith said. “I am excited to be a part of the program because I believe it will provide me with valuable life experience and opportunities to learn and develop.”
“We are super excited about the addition of Jayceon,” Johnson said. “His IQ and feel for the game is what first drew us to him, but he has so many other positive attributes on and off the court. He had an impressive senior year in all statistical areas, but most importantly helped his team win. As Jayceon gets stronger we expect him to develop into a really good college player that can do a bit of everything and also make others around him better. I can’t wait to see how Jayceon takes on the opportunity here at LC.”
Josh Salguero – Morton, Wash./Morton-White Pass High School
Salguero comes to LC after a special senior season at Morton-White Pass High School coached by Chad Cramer. As a senior he averaged 22 points, 10 rebounds and three assists per game. His senior season resume included being named Central 2B League MVP as well as first-team all-league and First-Team Washington All-State 2B. His senior year culminated in a helping MWP to a fourth- place finish in the 2B State Tournament. In the fourth-place game he finished with 15 points and 11 rebounds for the Timberwolves.
“I chose LC State because I felt very welcomed by the coaches and players during the recruiting process,” Salguero said. “I am excited to see my personal growth and development over the coming years with how much LC will shape me during my time as a Warrior.”
“Josh is a physical, traditional big man whose best basketball is still ahead of him as he develops and keeps making strides in strength and conditioning,” Johnson said. “The more we watched him the more impressed we were with his footwork, hands and overall feel for the game. He played in big games and was always the focal point of the opposing teams. Despite this, Josh was still consistent and played through the different defensive schemes with great individual and team success.”
Alton Hamilton – Fontana, Calif./Etiwanda High School
Hamilton completed a successful senior season with the powerhouse Etiwanda Eagles coached by legendary David Kleckner. The Eagles finished 26-6 and were Baseline League Champions. Etiwanda made a run through the CIF D1 Southern Section before falling to Sierra Canyon in big time showdown in the finals. Hamilton was the Scholar-Athlete Award winner for Etiwanda. During club basketball, he played for the highly successful Prodigy AAU program coached by Cam Murray.
“I could tell on my visit that LC ‘s priorities were being committed to both winning at a high level and developing their players into men on and off the court,” Hamilton said. “Those two goals, along with the group of players and coaches at LC, made it the clear choice for me and my family.”
“Alton flew under the radar a bit due to some injuries between his junior and senior year, but we could not be more excited about him being our final commitment in this recruiting class,” Johnson said. “He is a late bloomer with a lot of untapped potential. While there is a lot of work to do to realize that potential, we are confident that his character, competitiveness and joy in team are attributes that will impact our program from day one. Alton is excited about the expectations for him which is also encouraging.”