LEWISTON - On Monday, Lewis-Clark State men's basketball coach Austin Johnson announced the signings or three student-athletes ahead of the 2020-21 season in Mason Christianson, Grant Ellison and Sam Stockton.
“We feel very fortunate to have rounded out our recruiting class with these three individuals,” Johnson explained. “We needed to add some perimeter help that can both contribute immediately and also help us down the road as this current group of seniors graduates. Each of these guys bring something different on the court, but all of them are high-character workers that value team success. Those are the same characteristics of players that have had success here at LC and we have no doubt each of them will have special moments during their time here to keep the championship tradition alive. We are thrilled they chose LC State.”
Christianson comes to LC State after a standout prep career at Mountlake Terrace High School where he helped lead the Hawks to three WIAA State tournament appearances. During his time as a Hawk, he was a three-year starter and a two-time All-Wesco selection. He helped lead the team to a 19-1 season and conference championship as a junior, and during his senior season, the Hawks were Academic State Champions. His overall record as a varsity starter was 55-19, and he finished in the top 10 at Mountlake Terrace in assist, steals and charges taken.
“I am excited to join LC State, not only for the student-athlete experience, but also for the family atmosphere that has been created there by the players and coaches,” Christianson said. “As soon as I committed, a number of players reached out and welcomed me with open arms, and that is how I knew LC was home. I can’t wait to start this new journey. Go Warriors!”
“We are excited to add Mason and help him develop during his first year as a redshirt here at LC,” Johnson said. “He has been coached by one of the best high school coaches in the Northwest in Coach Nalin Sood which will prepare him for the transition. He understands what it takes to win and the work required to be great. That work ethic will not only impact him, but the rest of our program as well.”
Ellison joins the Warriors after a redshirt season at Westminster College in Utah. Prior to that, he played his freshman season at Umpqua College in Oregon. He helped the Riverhawks to a 20-win season, South Region Championship and appearance in the NWAC Final 4. Ellison averaged 19.7 points per game while shooting over 50 percent from the floor and 43 percent from 3-point range with an impressive 60-made 3s. He was the NWAC South Region Freshman of the Year and MVP.
“Shortly after talking with Coach Johnson, I knew LC was where I wanted to be,” Ellison said. “I am grateful things worked out and I am so excited to be a part of such a great Warrior program.”
“Grant comes to us as a mature sophomore with a unique college experience thus far,” Johnson explained. “His ball handling and shot making fits how we like to play offensively. With him having three years left to play, we also believe he can improve significantly on the court and in the weight room. He’s a competitor that won’t back down and will keep finding ways to gain an advantage.”
Stockton comes to LC State with four years of eligibility remaining after graduating from Gonzaga Prep in 2019. During his time as a Bullpup, he was a key contributor off the bench for one of the most dominant high school teams in the Northwest high school and AAU circuts. He finished his career accomplishing the rare feat of being a back-to-back Washington State 4A State Champion in 2018 and 2019. This past year Stockton was a gray-shirt at Gonzaga University.
“I was lucky enough to visit LC’s campus and meet with the coaches,” Stockton explained. “During the visit I could tell that the coaches truly believed in me and wanted what is best for me not only as a basketball player, but also as a student and person. The family atmosphere and willingness to recruit a gray-shirt like myself is why I can’t wait to be in Lewiston and be a Warrior.”
“Our staff is really pumped about the addition of Sam,” Johnson said. “He’s played with and against high level competition his whole life which has forced him to be a high-level competitor and team player. He’s been well coached by Coach McIntyre at Gonzaga Prep and during his AAU days by his father, John. His versatility on offense and defense is what we are so excited about adding.”