April 17, 2000
NORMAN, Okla. - University of Oklahoma Head Coach Kelvin Sampson announced today that Ronnie Griffin of Tallahassee (Fla.) Community College has signed a national letter of intent to play basketball with the Sooners. Griffin, who Sampson said is the final addition to OU's 2000 recruiting class, is the third player to ink with Oklahoma during the current spring signing period and seventh overall this year.
Griffin, a 6-9, 235-pound forward, shot .544 from the field and averaged 12.5 points and 5.3 rebounds for Tallahassee Community College last year. He played in all 30 games and earned first-team All-Panhandle Conference honors while helping the Eagles to a 25-5 overall record. Griffin's squad was ranked as high as second in the nation by the National Junior College Athletic Association last season.
"Ronnie is a long, athletic kid who possesses a lot of talent and is really good offensively," said Sampson. "He's excellent with the ball in his hands. He comes from a great junior college program and played for Mike Gillespie, who is a heck of a coach. We think we're getting a good player who will step in and help make us better right away."
"He may be the most skilled post player in the country who was available, from the standpoint of his ability to score, pass and put the ball on the floor," said Gillespie. "I think he'll be a great high-post player in Coach Sampson's offense and I think he'll complement the other recruits who are coming in. He's a little bit older and brings some experience and maturity. The one thing he can do really well is score -- he can flat out put the ball in the basket."
A native of Louisville, Ky., Griffin began his collegiate playing career at Eastern Kentucky where he averaged 9.6 points and 5.6 rebounds in 14 games as a freshman in 1998-99. He started 11 games that season and registered 18 points and nine boards in a contest versus Notre Dame.
Griffin played his first three years of prep basketball at Louisville Central High School where he teamed with former Sooner Eric Martin for one season. He played his senior year at Maine Central Institute and was considered one of the top 50 high school players in the nation after averaging 19 points and 11 rebounds per outing.
Griffin joins junior college center Jozsef Szendrei and high school point guard Blake Johnston as spring signees. In the fall, Oklahoma secured letter-of-intent signatures from first-team junior college All-American forwards Aaron McGhee and Daryan Selvy, and high school forwards Johnnie Gilbert and James Wright. The Sooners' 2000 class is expected to be rated as one of the best in the nation.