Wednesday’s news that the 49ers’ men’s basketball team has added Florida transfer Braxton Ogbueze further solidified Charlotte's roster -- for the 2014-15 season. They’ve already got another transfer, forward Bernard Sullivan from Clemson, signed for that year, as well (they both have to sit out a season under NCAA rules).
But depth might still be a problem for next season, with Tulane transfer and shooting guard Ben Cherry and freshman forward Cameron Blakley (as well as sophomore guard Shawn Lester) the only new players (for now) coming in to offset the losses of four seniors and the transfers of Darion Clark and E. Victor Nickerson.
Coach Alan Major has said he wants to make Charlotte and MecklenburgCounty a primary recruiting area, and he’s done that this spring, at least through the transfer route. Cherry (Myers Park), Sullivan (North Mecklenburg, Davidson Day) and Ogbueze (Vance, United Faith) are all local products that Charlotte no doubt would have preferred to have signed out of high school – as he’d already done with Terrence Williams (West Mecklenburg) and Ivan Benkovic (Mack Academy).
In signing Blakley from Apalachee High in Winder, Ga., Major also continues to recruit the state of Georgia aggressively. The results so far, however, have been mixed at best, at least in terms of player retention from that state. Sophomore forward Willie Clayton (Thomasville) should be an all-star candidate next season.
But three other Georgia players, although talented and apparently headed for solid careers at Charlotte, didn’t pan out.
DeMario Mayfield (Royston), Major’s first recruit at Charlotte and a transfer from the Georgia Bulldogs, was kicked off the team (he’s now at MoreheadState). Nickerson (Atlanta) and Clark (Conyers) have transferred for what they hope are greener pastures elsewhere.
-- 49ers football coach Brad Lambert will be busy with clinics over the next month. Lambert and Charlotte’s Belk Bowl will hold an NCAA Youth Football Clinic on Saturday at the 49ers’ stadium. Check in begins at 8 a.m. and the clinic begins at 9:15. The clinic is open to the first 150 players who register (ages 8-14, grades 3-8): Register at www.ncaafootballclinics.com. Lambert will be joined by area youth, high school and college coaches.
Also, Lambert and his staff will hold a women’s football clinic June 15 from 9 a.m.-noon at the stadium. Participants will take part in a film session, participate in drills, review the rules with a referee and also see a fashion show for football equipment.
To register, call the 49ers Athletic Foundation at 704-687-4950.