ASHEBORO — Like most students, Asheboro High School’s Jerquarius Stanback became all too familiar with zoom meetings during the pandemic. With schools closing and students learning from home, Stanback admitted it was very difficult to learn with as many distractions as there sometimes are at home.
Stanback was in another zoom meeting last week, but this one was much more to his liking. After a zoom meeting with Appalachian State head basketball coach Dustin Kerns, Stanback verbally committed to the Mountaineers.
“It’s a great school, far enough from home and not too far where I can come back and visit,” the 6-foot-7 Stanback said of reasons for committing to the Sun Belt Conference school. “I really liked what they showed me.”
During the zoom meeting, Kerns praised the work Stanback has already put in and said there are only a few who are asked to participate in the Mountaineers’ program each year. Kerns said it would be an honor for Stanback to join a program that has tasted plenty of success since Kerns was named head coach on March 28, 2019. This year, the Mountaineers are 7-2, including a win over Auburn.
AHS coach Brian Nance said Stanback is the first male Division I basketball recruit from AHS since Jeff Williams went to ASU and Joe Spinks to Campbell in 1990.
“I’m excited for Jerquarius to have this opportunity,” Nance said of his senior inside power who is averaging nearly 27 points per game in his final season after being named the Mid-Piedmont Conference player of the year last year.
Stanback went to an elite camp at ASU and caught the eye of the coaching staff.
“It’s not like he plays against this level of player night in and night out and he was holding his own against guys who had received offers from schools like Wake Forest,” Nance said. “He’s still really young and when they found out how young he was, was 6-7 and had an 85-inch wing span, they became really interested. They have a lot of guys on their roster who are very much like that. I’m not sure he isn’t going to grow even more.”
Nance said the entire program was a big drawing card for Stanback.
“You’re going to stay in a basketball dorm with a basketball player as a roommate, there is a nutrition lady for all of them, there are tutors available in every subject, they have weekly meetings with their coaches to outline what they are doing every week, there’s a sports psychologist, and this coach has graduated 100 percent of his players since he’s been there,” Nance said.
“He’ll have access to an arena 24 hours and there are a ton of Asheboro people who go to Appalachian State. We have all kinds of connections with people who are going to help him be successful.”
Stanback said he also looked at Pfeiffer, Pembroke State and Elizabeth City.
“It’s been a tough journey,” Stanback said. “I have had a lot of people around supporting me.”
Stanback will graduate in May and head to Boone in June.