Men's Basketball Makes Roster Moves

Sept. 11, 2002

Corvallis, Ore. - Oregon State University men's basketball head coach Jay John announced Wednesday that Sal Vance of Oakland, Calif., and Chris Stephens of Portland will join the program for the 2002-2003 season. John also announced Justin Holt of Tacoma, Wash., will not enroll.

Vance is a 6-foot-7 forward who attended Oakland Technical High School. He averaged 16.0 points and 11.0 rebounds as a junior and earned MVP honors of the Oakland Athletic League All-Star contest. Vance did not play his senior season, electing to concentrate on academics. He did compete in various AAU tournaments during his senior year, earning all-tournament acclaim in several.

'Sal is arguably the best athlete on our roster,' John said. 'Athletically, he can play with anyone in the Pac-10 Conference. He has a strong work ethic, is an upstanding individual, and is genuinely excited about his opportunity.'

Vance qualified for a Division I scholarship late, but was still recruited by several top institutions in the country.

'Oregon State University presented me with a great opportunity,' Vance said. 'I'm very impressed with the coaching staff, and I firmly believe I will be a big asset to the program.'

Stephens played at Madison High School, where he lettered three years as a 6-2 guard. He was second in the state in scoring as a senior, averaging 22.9 points, and added 5.4 assists, five rebounds, and shot 48 percent from three-point range.

'I'm really excited about Chris Stephens,' John said. 'He was one of the top players during the Portland pro-am summer league.'

Stephens' honors include first team All-Portland Interscholastic League twice, third team all-state as a senior, and he was named the January Athlete of the Month by Madison and KATU Television. He left Madison as the school's all-time leading scorer.

'Chris is another example of the talented guards who have come out of the Portland area in recent years.' assistant coach Brian Loyd said. 'He has the ability to play the point and run the team, but is also equally adept at shooting and scoring the basketball. The coaching staff expects him to be an immediate contributor.'

Holt has elected to remain in Tacoma and attend Tacoma Community College. The 6-5 swingman was recruited by former head coach Ritchie McKay and signed a letter of intent to attend Oregon State last November. He led Lincoln High School to the class 4A state title last season and was MVP of the Narrows League.

'Justin has made a decision to stay in Tacoma to attend to some personal issues,' John explained. 'The rigors of Division I basketball demand full focus from student-athletes in order to succeed, and at this particular time Justin is not ready to make a full commitment. In our efforts to return Oregon State basketball to the upper echelon of the Pac-10, it is essential our student-athletes are fully committed to our program. I certainly wish Justin the very best in his future endeavors.'

With the recent roster moves, Oregon State currently has 12 student-athletes on scholarship for the 2002-2003 season. The first official day of practice is Sat., Oct. 12.

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