Home VMI basketball adds Branch and Iruafemi as signees

VMI basketball adds Branch and Iruafemi as signees

vmi_logoVMI head basketball coach duggar baucom has announced the signings of forwards Armani Branch and Fred Iruafemi during the recent national letter-of-intent spring signing period.

Branch is a 6-7, 185, shooting forward from Carrolton, Virginia and attends Genesis Academy in Lynchburg, Virginia. Iruafemi, a 6-7, 200, forward, attends Middle Creek High School in Cary, North Carolina.

Branch in 2013-14 averaged 14.4 points, 7.1 rebounds, 2.0 steals, and shot 58% from the floor for the 17-12 Genesis Academy team coached by James Simpkins. Branch posted an impressive double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds in the Bull City Classic Championship over Hillside (Durham, N.C) on November 30 and hit six of seven shots from the floor in the contest while also having three assists, three steals, and three blocks in the tournament final. Other top Branch performances included 25 points and 8 rebounds against Quality Education Academy on December 17 and 23 points and 11 rebounds versus Charis Prep on January 24.

“Armani is a skilled wing who can attack the basket but also shoot the three,” says Baucom. “His length and athleticism also allow him to be a very good rebounder.”

Iruafemi was a First Team All-Conference selection who led Coach David Kushner’s Middle Creek squad in points per game (12.8), rebounds (10.4), blocks (5.0), assists (2.5), and steals (1.8). He finished as the school’s all-time shot blocker with 264 rejections and ranks second in career rebounds per game (8.2), second in career field goal shooting (55%), and fourth in overall rebounds. Iruafemi recorded the first triple-double in Middle Creek history with 20 points, 15 rebounds, and 12 blocks against Garner and he also tallied 19 points, 12 rebounds, and four blocks in handing eventual State Champion Apex their only loss in 19 games after January 1. Iruafemi established a new Middle Creek single game record with 14 blocks in a second round state playoff game against Durham Jordan and set a new single season mark with 132 blocks.

“Fred is a low post presence who can finish around the rim with both hands,” says Baucom. “He has excellent timing, length and athleticism which make him a very proficient shot blocker.”

Baucom added, “Armani, Fred and early signee, Jon Elmore complete an excellent class. All three should come in and compete for playing time immediately.”



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