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BASKETBALL: Grant lands power forward transfer

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Michael Kessens (left) joins the Tide basketball team

Alabama men’s basketball head coach Anthony Grant announced the signing of transfer Michael Kessens, a 6-9, 215-pound power forward who played his freshman season at Longwood University.

Kessens, a native of Nyon, Switzerland, joins fellow transfer Ricky Tarrant (Tulane) as well as two-time JUCO All-American guard Algie Key (Barton CC in Decatur, Georgia) and freshmen forwards Jimmie Taylor (Greensboro, Ala./Greensboro HS) and Shannon Hale (Johnson City, Tenn./Christ School) as the newest members of the Alabama men’s basketball team.

“We are very excited to have Michael join our program here at the University of Alabama,” Grant said. “Michael brings a high skill level and strong basketball IQ to his position. He has a passion for the game and has had the opportunity to learn the college game over the last year. Michael will be an outstanding addition to the our basketball team and the university community.”

During the 2012-13 campaign, Kessens started all 33 games and averaged 13.7 points, 8.8 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.3 blocks per contest, while shooting 54 percent from the floor and 70 percent from the foul line. He posted 25 double-figure scoring games, five 20-point games and 11 double-doubles, all of which led the Lancers. He finished the year by reaching double figures in 12 of his final 13 games.

Kessens earned numerous accolades last season, including his selection to the Mid-Major Freshmen All-America Team. Additionally, he was voted as the Virginia Sports Information Directors Associate (VaSID) Rookie of the Year, which encompasses all Division I schools in the state of Virginia, as well as being named to the Big South Conference All-Freshman Team. Kessens also picked up a league-leading four Big South Freshman of the Week awards this past season.

(Courtesy of UA Media Relations)

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