GLENDORA, Calif. - The Citrus College Men's Basketball program is pleased to announce that four student-athletes from the 2016-2017 season have signed scholarship offers to continue their education and basketball careers at the four-year level. Three sophomores and one freshman will be suiting up at NCAA institutions next Fall, including Calvin Martin (Sacramento State), Khalil Williams (California State, Los Angeles), Kenneth Cyprian (California State, Los Angeles), and Tyler LaCour (Concordia University, Irvine).
Martin leads the signing, inking with the NCAA Division I Hornets. Martin is one of two Owls to have appeared in every single contest over the last two seasons, posting career marks of 6.8 points per game and 6.7 rebounds a game. As a sophomore, Martin averaged 7.9 points, and was the team's leading rebounded at 8.4 boards a game, on his way to earning All-Western State Conference East Division Honorable Mention honors.
"After meeting with the team and the coaching staff at Sac State, I was able to see what their culture was about. From my time with the coaching staff and players, I could tell that they wanted me to be a part of their family," Martin said. "I know I will play a big role in helping them win the next two years, and I'm excited about what the future holds at Sac State."
Martin scored a career high 19 points in earlier this year an early December win over Orange Coast College, and ripped down a career high 18 rebounds in a win over Mendocino College in the middle of the same month. Ironically that rebounding performance came one game after he had set what was then a career high in rebounding with 17 rebounds in a victory at Los Angeles Pierce College. On the season Martin, was one of just two Owls to start all 31 games, and recorded five double-doubles on the year.
"Citrus has really prepared me for the next level. They gave me the tools that I need to continue to be successful these next two years and beyond," Martin said. "Everyone, from the coaching staff to the support staff, in the athletics department has played a big role in my development these last two years. I'm very thankful for Citrus College and the opportunities it has provided me."
Cyprian will go down in the Citrus history books as the only Owl to have started every single game in which his team played during his two-year career. Cyprian finished with career averages of 12.6 points per game, including a 37.2% percentage from downtown. In a late January win over conference foe Barstow College, Cyprian dropped a career high 33 points going 10-of-15 from the floor, including a 7-of-12 mark from beyond the 3-point line, and a perfect 6-for-6 at the charity stripe.
"I chose Cal State LA because it was the best opportunity for me in terms of both basketball and life after basketball. It's going to give me a chance to succeed on and off the floor," Cyprian said. "The Head Coach [Jim Saia] really believes in me. He's been successful wherever he has been, and I know the team and myself can do something really special the next two years."
Cyprian finishes his career as the program leader in 3-point attempts (419), and free-throw percentage (81.9%), and second in 3-pointers made (156). He finishes fourth in 3-point percentage (37.2%), totals points (769), and points per game (12.6), and fifth in free-throws made (163).
"It [Citrus] taught me the value of hard work. It taught me about making the building relationships with people, and about how important it is to go to a place where the culture is right," Cyprian said. "The family atmosphere here is unparalleled. That's what I'll take away from Citrus. The people here work hard and care about each other. I feel like it's going to be the same way at Cal State LA."
Williams will head to Golden Eagles with three seasons of eligibility remaining. Williams was often the Owls spark off the bench during the 2016-2017 campaign, and appeared in all 31 games this past season with three starts to his name. Williams averaged 9.5 points, 4.9 rebounds, 1.9 steals, and 1.4 assists per game.
"I chose Cal State LA because it was the perfect fit for me," Williams said. "When I was on my visit, and I got to meet the players and sit down with the coaching staff, I knew right away it was going to be the place for me."
Williams scored a season high 24 points for the Owls in a mid-December win at previously mentioned LA Pierce. He also twice broke the 20-point barrier, once in Citrus' first tournament of the year and again in the Owls' regular season finale at Barstow College. Williams had a pair of double-doubles on the year.
"Citrus has done a lot for me this last year. It's taught me how to be a student and an athlete. It's taught me how to compete in everything I do," Williams said. "I'm definitely going to take what I learned with me over to Cal State LA, and keep that spirit going."
LaCour spent the last three years with the Citrus College program, playing his freshman campaign during the 2014-2015 season, before sitting out the 2015-2016 campaign with an injury, and closed out his two-year career this past 2016-2017 season. LaCour appeared in 52 total games in his career, playing in all 31 this past year with 29 starts. He averaged 8.8 points and 3.6 rebounds a game in his career.
"Overall it [Concordia] felt like the best fit for me. They have the same type of culture we have here at Citrus," LaCour said. "It's a family atmosphere, and that appealed to me."
As a sophomore LaCour was the team's third leading scorer, averaging 10 points a game on 41.7% shooting from the floor. LaCour scored a career high 29 points in an early season win over Bakersfield College. He followed that up with a near career performance against Cerritos College in the Owls second round playoff win over the Falcons, scoring 23 points in that all-important victory.
"Citrus has been a place where I have matured. It's helped me grow not only as a player, but as a man," LaCour said. "It's helped me stay motivated, as I've persevered through some injuries. It's been a place of stability for me these last few years."
"Matriculation always has been and always will be the number one priority of the Citrus College Men's Basketball program," said Head Men's Basketball Coach Brett Lauer. "These four young-men are an outstanding example of what our program is all about. They have worked hard on and off the floor to earn these scholarships. I'm excited to see how their careers continue to progress over the next couple of years, and know that they will be important, contributing teammates to their new programs."