JUCO Basketball Stars To Become Dalton State Roadrunners

Wednesday, March 26, 2014 - by Bob Beavers
Gordon State basketball coach Israel Ingle, new Dalton State players Denarious Lockhart and Devonte Thornton, and Roadrunner basketball coach Tony Ingle
Gordon State basketball coach Israel Ingle, new Dalton State players Denarious Lockhart and Devonte Thornton, and Roadrunner basketball coach Tony Ingle

Barnesville, Ga. – Dalton State basketball coach Tony Ingle has a warm place in his heart for Gordon State College.

He began his college coaching career with the Highlanders. More importantly, his son Israel is now the head coach at the middle Georgia junior college. 

Ingle has now signed two more Gordon State products to a Dalton State scholarship. Devonte Thornton, a 6’8” guard/small forward, and Denarius Lockhart, a 6’9” center, have made the commitment.

“We are so excited to have Devonte and Denarius and thrilled they wants to be Roadrunner,” said Ingle. “Our fans will love them and their athletic abilities.” 

They have just completed their sophomore season at Gordon State.

Thornton played in 29 games, averaging 18.9 points per game. He also pulled down an average of 9.7 rebounds a contest and was second team all conference. 

Lockhart averaged 13.3 points and 11.4 rebounds per game and was honorable mention all conference.

“Devonte is a pretty versatile player who can create his own shot,” said Ingle. “He will rebound the ball and he is very coachable. We expect great things out of him.” 

“Israel teaches some of the same things that we teach so Devonte’s adjusting to our system should pay dividends immediately,” added Ingle. “His major adjustment is that I’m better looking than my son.”

“Devonte is an exciting player to watch and he’s one of the most versatile players I’ve ever seen,” echoed Israel Ingle. “”In addition to being an amazing athlete, he’s an outstanding person and will fit in well with the Dalton State basketball culture. We’re really going to miss him, but glad to see he is going to be in good hands.”

Thornton graduated from R. L. Osborne High School in Marietta. He received offers from Florida Atlantic University, Tennessee, Wichita State, Jacksonville, and Tennessee Tech, He signed with Florida Atlantic University. 

He left the Boca Raton, Florida school mid-way through his freshman year to move closer to his family.

Roadrunner Coach Ingle said some of the same characteristics that apply to Thornton also apply to Lockhart. 

“Denarius also has a dominating presence and gives us another big man that can help us inside,” said Ingle. Not too many teams have three 6’10 kids regardless of level. Denarious is a great young man who loves to block shots, rebound and bang inside.”

Lockhart will join LaDaris Green and Rico Williams in the Roadrunner 6’10 club. 

“Denarius is explosive," said Israel Ingle. “He shattered a backboard in high school and maintains a huge presence in the paint. He too is a great person and a remarkable leader.”

Lockhart graduated from Crawford High in Roberta, Ga. He began his college career at Atlanta Metro State College but decided to move to Gordon State to be near his hometown. 


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