East Carolina announces basketball signees

GREENVILLE, N.C. — Corvonn Gaines (Madison, Wis.) and Darius Morales (Orlando, Fla.) have each signed a National Letter-of-Intent to attend East Carolina University and play basketball beginning with the 2009-10 season announced Pirate head coach Mack McCarthy on Monday. Both players will have four years of eligibility once they arrive on campus.
Gaines and Morales join Wakefield Ellison and Erin Straughn, both of whom signed during the fall period, to comprise the freshmen class of 2010.
“This class brings us four quality people from great families who have a chance to be outstanding players,” said McCarthy. “Each young man comes from a winning program where they all had great senior seasons.  They will have the opportunity to contribute to our continuing efforts to building a winning basketball program here at East Carolina University.”
The 6-foot-4 Gaines, the younger brother of former Louisville All-America selection and first-round NBA Draft pick Reece Gaines, was a standout at Madison West High School before heading to Worcester (Mass.) Academy last season. As a senior at MWHS, he averaged 16.9 points and 6.7 assists per game and was an all-conference player. He also participated in the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) All-Star Game as a member of the North squad. This past season at Worcester Academy, Gaines continued to display his versatile skills by averaging 12 points, five rebounds, four assists and two steals per contest.
“Corvonn is another long multi-position athlete who can play anywhere on the perimeter,” said McCarthy. “He has been around basketball his entire life, and has a great understanding of the game.  Corvonn comes from an outstanding basketball family and is a very good student.”
Morales, a 6-foot-9, 210-pounder, helped Timber Creek High School post an 18-11 overall record in 2008-09 while earning second-team All-Metro Conference honors. He finished the 2008-09 season with an average of 11.4 points, 9.8 rebounds and 4.3 rebounds per game. His team advanced to Class 6A, District 4-championship game and earned a spot in the regional tournament. He played on the same AAU team as future Pirate teammate Straughn and will compete this summer on the Puerto Rico Junior National Team.

“Darius is a long, athletic shot blocker who has a tremendous upside,” explained McCarthy. “Playing with the Puerto Rican national junior team all summer against international competition will be a valuable experience for him prior to attending ECU.  His parents are both educators and have impressed upon him the importance of his academic orientation.”

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