Gardner-Webb completed its recruiting class for the upcoming men's basketball season, signing international forwards Ludovic Dufeal and Erick Valdez to National Letters of Intent.
Dufeal (6-8, 185) is a combo forward from Saint-Joseph, Martinique in the Lesser Antilles. He spent the 2017-2018 season at Moravian Prep in Hudson, N.C.
A versatile and skilled performer on both ends of the floor, Dufeal averaged 14.4 points, 11.3 rebounds and 6.1 blocks per game for Moravian this past season – and posted a pair of triple-doubles in tournament play. Dufeal netted 19 points, 14 rebounds and 13 blocked shots vs. Atlanta Blue and posted 10 points, 13 rebounds and 11 blocked shots against Combine Charlotte.
He had 21 points, 12 rebounds and seven blocks in a win over Washington Academy in the National Prep-Postgraduate Championships.
During his time in the Carribean, Dufeal played for the Martinique 18U squad in the 2017 IBF Lesser Antilles FIBA 3-on-3 Tournament. He was also recruited by Appalachian State, Troy, Radford, East Carolina, UNC Greensboro and Morehead State.
"Ludovic provides us with some versatility in the post, as he can step out and make shots, as well as mix it up inside with his length and defensive instincts," said Gardner-Webb head coach Tim Craft. "He was well regarded when he arrived in the U.S., and we are very fortunate to add him this spring."
Valdez (6-7, 200) is a very athletic forward from San Cristobal in the Dominican Republic – and played his senior season at Trinity Christian School in Sharpsburg, Ga.
A gifted rebounder and shot blocker, Valdez uses a 42-inch vertical leap to his advantage inside. He earned first-team All-Coweta County honors this past season after averaging 11.4 points, 10.6 rebounds and 3.0 blocks per game for the Lions.
Also an All-Region 1-AAA selection as a senior, Valdez helped Trinity Christian to a 28-7 overall record.
Prior to arriving in the United States, Valdez gained valuable international experience playing for the Dominican Republic's 16U Junior National Team in 2015. He saw action in the 16U FIBA Americas Championship, shooting an efficient 66.7 percent from the floor for the tournament.
Valdez enrolled at Gardner-Webb for the first session of summer school and has been working out with the team members on campus over the past two weeks.
"Erick has incredible bounce and athleticism, and could be one of the best rebounders we've had here by the time his career is finished," said Craft. "He has the ability to really impact the game around the rim and on the backboards on both ends and is learning our system quicker than expected. We are excited about his potential."
The pair joins a talented freshman class that includes wings Jaylan Alston (6-4, 190) from Greensboro, N.C., and Jose Perez (6-5, 195) from Bronx, N.Y., along with center Gabe Bryant (6-8, 240) from Spartanburg, S.C.
Gardner-Webb's 2018-2019 Incoming Recruits
Jaylan Alston * 6-4 * 190 * F * Greensboro, N.C. / Eastern Guilford HS
Gabe Bryant * 6-8 * 240 * C * Spartanburg, S.C. / Dorman HS
Ludovic Dufeal * 6-8 * 185 * F * Saint-Joseph, Martinique / Moravian Prep
Jose Perez * 6-5 * 195 * G * Bronx, N.Y. / Putnam Science Academy
Erick Valdez * 6-7 * 200 * F * San Cristobal, Dominican Republic / Trinity Christian School
Gardner-Webb's two November signees enjoyed strong senior seasons and added to their accolades in the postseason.
Swingman Jaylan Alston averaged 25.1 points, 12.0 rebounds, 3.4 steals and 3.2 assists per game for Eastern Guilford (N.C.) High this past season, helping the Wildcats to a 27-3 record. He was named HSXtra.com All-Area Player of the Year for the second year in a row by the Greensboro News & Record and was also a first-team Associated Press All-State selection for the second year in a row.
The three-time All-Conference choice was recently selected to play in the North Carolina East-West Game and finished his career with 1,719 points, 853 rebounds and 212 steals in 84 games.
Center Gabe Bryant led Dorman (S.C.) High to a second Class 5A State Championship in 2017-2018, earning Class 5A All-State honors from the S.C. High School Sports Report following the season. Bryant also played in the annual North/South All-Star Game in South Carolina.