Wyoming Basketball Program Announces Three Signings

Nov. 17, 2003


University of Wyoming head basketball coach Steve McClain announced on Monday the signing of three junior-college players to national letters of intent. Chris Anderson of the College of Eastern Utah in Price, Utah; Derek Wabbington of Northeastern Junior College in Sterling, Colo.; and Justin Williams of Colby Community College in Colby, Kan., all signed with Wyoming.

Chris Anderson is a 6'8", 210-pound redshirt freshman at the College of Eastern Utah. Anderson redshirted the 2002-03 season. He is currently averaging 14.3 points, 9.5 rebounds and 4.0 blocked shots per game, as Eastern Utah has begun the 2003-04 season 3-0. Anderson will come to the University of Wyoming in the fall of 2004 with three years of eligibility remaining. His junior-college coach is Bryan Zollinger, who also coached former Cowboy Scottie Vines at Eastern Utah.

Anderson had an outstanding high school career at Layton High School in Layton, Utah, where he averaged 16.8 points, 12.6 rebounds and 7.2 blocked shots per game. He led Layton High to a 16-10 record and the quarterfinals of the 2002 Utah State Tournament. His high school coach was Bobby Porter. He is the son of Crystal and Curtis Williams.

Anderson was also recruited by Long Beach State, Utah State and Weber State.

"Chris (Anderson) is a young man who will have three years of eligibility left after this season of junior-college basketball," said McClain. "He's a kid we saw last year, and Coach Adams (John) of our staff really liked him. When we went back to see him again, he had grown and developed even more. His coach, Bryan Zollinger, knows our program well, having had a former player of his come here in Scottie Vines. We feel like Chris will be a great fit for our system. He is a 6'8" four-man, who can shoot if from three-point range and get up and down the court. I believe Chris' best days are ahead of him."

Derek Wabbington is a 6'9", 235-pound sophomore at Northeastern Junior College (NJC) in Sterling, Colo. Wabbington averaged 10 points and six rebounds per game during his freshman season of 2002-03. NJC posted a record of 17-14 during Wabbington's freshman season. His best games came against: North Platte Community College (19 points and 10 rebounds); Laramie County Community College (15 points and 18 rebounds); and Casper College (12 points and 16 rebounds). He was coached at NJC by Brian Joyce.

Entering the 2003-04 season, Street & Smith's College Basketball Preview magazine ranked NJC No. 11 in the country.

Wabbington played his high school basketball at Washington High School in Phoenix, Ariz. He is the son of Judy and Bennie Wabbington.

He was also recruited by Arizona State, Creighton, Gonzaga, Iowa State, Nebraska, and UNLV.

"Derek Wabbington, for a big kid, really shoots the ball well," said McClain. "He is a 6'9" player, who can stretch the defense out to the three-point arc with his shooting range. He runs the court well. He is left-handed, and I believe he will be a hard matchup for our opponents."

Justin Williams is a 6'10", 215-pound sophomore forward/center from Colby Community College (CCC) in Colby, Kan. Williams averaged 11.2 points, 10.2 rebounds, 3.7 blocked shots per game and shot 54.3 percent from the field as a freshman at Colby in 2002-03. He led the Trojans in dunks, with over 30 on the season. Colby posted a 26-7 record for the 2002-03 season, finishing second in the Jayhawk JUCO West Conference and advanced to the Region VI Final Four. Williams was selected Third Team All-Jayhawk West Conference.

Entering his sophomore season, he was ranked as the No. 3 best junior-college center in the nation by NBAdraft.net, No. 5 by Lindy's magazine and No. 10 by the Sporting News. Colby was ranked No. 7 in the official National Junior College Athletic Association preseason poll entering the 2003-04 season. In a game this past Wednesday, Nov. 13, Williams recorded a triple-double, with 25 points, 10 rebounds and 10 blocked shots.

Williams had a very consistent season as a freshman, scoring in double figures in 19 out of 33 games, pulling down double figure rebounds in 19 games and posting 13 double-doubles in scoring and rebounding. He scored a career high 22 points on two occasions -- versus Southwestern Community College on Nov. 24, 2002, and vs. Barton County CC on Feb. 15, 2003. Williams grabbed a career high 24 rebounds against Pratt CC on March 1, 2003. In that same game against Pratt, he blocked eight shots and scored 18 points. His career high in blocked shots was nine at Barton County on Jan. 13, 2003. He was coached at Colby by Brian Ostermann.

Williams played his high school basketball at Thornwood High School in the Chicago suburb of South Holland, Ill. While in high school, Williams played against current Wyoming Cowboy Jay Straight, also a native of Chicago. He is the son of Florence and Chris Williams.

Other schools that recruited Williams were: Auburn, DePaul, Iowa State, Marquette, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas Tech, among others.

"Justin is a very long, athletic big man, who can score and block a lot of shots," said McClain. "Around the rim, he dunks everything. I think he can come in and establish himself as one of the premier big men in this league."

"The thing I like about all three of these young men is that I believe each of them can come in and be impact players in our program," McClain said.

Wednesday, Nov. 12 was the first day student-athletes could sign national letters of intent with NCAA institutions.