PITTSBORO — Jarin Stevenson, who starred at forward for the Seaforth boys' basketball team in the Hawks' first two seasons as a program, announced his commitment to the University of Alabama on Wednesday night via Twitter.
The 6-foot-10 power forward recently narrowed down his choices to the Crimson Tide, North Carolina and Virginia. He also mulled offers from N.C. State, Wake Forest, Missouri and Georgetown early in the recruiting process.
Stevenson is ranked as the No. 19 player nationally in the Class of 2024 according to 247Sports’ composite rankings, but it's unclear how that rank will change in the coming weeks as he's compared to the incoming college freshman class. What is clear is that the lengthy, dynamic power forward is the top prospect Alabama is bringing in for the upcoming season.
The Crimson Tide's other commits from the Class of 2023 are small forward Kris Parker (No. 97) and power forwards Sam Walters (No. 57 in Class of 2023) and Mouhamed Dioubate (No. 109). At 6-foot-10, Stevenson is taller than both Dioubate and Walters and should be the favorite to earn playing time over them early in the season.
Alabama offered Stevenson the best chance to play early of any of his final three choices. The Crimson Tide lost several frontcourt players during the offseason, including two power forwards. That said, rumors are that head coach Nate Oats will bring in another impact big via the transfer portal in former North Dakota State star Grant Nelson (6-foot-11, 235 pounds).
While the ball would likely flow through Nelson — who averaged 19.9 points and 9.8 rebounds per game in 2022-23 — if he joins the team, Stevenson could find minutes off the bench or potentially earn some starts at one of the other frontcourt positions given Alabama’s lack of depth.
Stevenson leaves Seaforth as the Hawks’ all-time leading scorer with 1,011 career points over two seasons with the team. The power forward played his freshman season at Northwood, where he led the team in scoring (13.7 points per game) and rebounding (8.1 per game) and helped lead the Chargers to the finals of the 3A state tournament.
In 2022-23, Stevenson averaged 21.5 points, 11.6 rebounds and 3.7 blocks per game, leading the county in all three categories. He led Seaforth to an 18-9 overall record and a first-place finish in the Mid-Carolina Conference at 11-1. The Hawks made it to the second round of the 2A state playoffs before falling to East Carteret.
After the season, Stevenson was named the North Carolina Gatorade Player of the Year in boys’ basketball.
The loss of Stevenson would be a big hurdle for Seaforth to climb this upcoming winter. The forward led the team in pretty much every statistical category this past season. The Hawks’ top returning scorer is now rising senior Kooper Jones (9.1 points, 5.9 rebounds per game). Rising senior Tyshawn Davenport (7.0) and rising junior Noah Lewis (7.0) are the only other players who averaged more than five points per game this past winter.