GLIAC Champion Ferris State Adds Two Talented NCAA Division II Transfer Student-Athletes
Big Rapids, Mich. - The reigning Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Champion Ferris State University Bulldogs have reloaded their men's basketball roster for another potential championship run in 2022-23 as head coach Andy Bronkema has announced the recent addition of a pair of talented transfer student-athletes.
Bronkema has inked former Roberts Wesleyan standout guard Amari Lee (Rochester, N.Y.) along with Dolapo Olayinka (Chicago, Ill.), who was a GLIAC standout at fellow league member Northern Michigan before sitting out this past season. Both have been multi-year starters on the Division II level and all-conference honorees at their previous institutions.
"We're excited about the addition of both Amari and Dolapo and feel both have the ability to be very productive and competitive in our lineup," said Bronkema. "We lost four talented seniors from this past season's championship team, but adding these two to the mix with both our returning group and incoming class gives us the potential to be successful. Both Amari and Dolapo have had past success in Division II basketball, which should make for a smooth transition."
Lee played in all 25 games this past season for New York based Roberts Wesleyan College, starting all 25 contests in the backcourt. He led the squad with a team-high 90 assists and shot 37% from the three-point arc while totaling 287 points to go with 117 rebounds and a team-high 47 steals. He also ranked as the squad's second-leading rebounder on the year. The veteran guard also started all 15 games during the shortened 2020-21 campaign when he notched 134 points, 68 rebounds, 51 assists and 28 steals.
This past season, the 6-0 Lee helped Roberts Wesleyan to the East Coast Conference Semifinals before falling to top-ranked St. Thomas Aquinas. A three-year letterwinner, Lee started all 27 games for the Redhawks in 2019-20, averaging 35.2 minutes and a career-high 13.8 points per game while being named the ECC Rookie of the Year. He redshirted in 2018-19 following a standout prep career at Heritage High School.
In addition to being league rookie of the year recipient as a freshman, Lee was the ECC's Co-Defensive Player of the Year in 2020-21 and was an all-conference recipient this past season, marking the third consecutive year in which he's attained either all-league laurels or been one of the conference's award winners.
Meanwhile, Olayinka sat out this past season after scoring 14 points a game and pulling down a team-high 7.6 rebounds a contest for Northern Michigan during the 2020-21 COVID season while earning All-GLIAC accolades. He appeared in all 16 contests that year and finished with 224 points, 121 rebounds, 23 assists, 17 blocks and 10 steals, averaging 30 plus minutes per game as the squad's top rebounder and second-leading scorer.
A four-year letterwinner at Northern Michigan, Olayinka started 18 games and appeared in all 30 contests in 2019-20, placing second on the team with 9.5 points and 5.9 rebounds per game. He posted 14 double-figure scoring contests and scored 20 points or more three times. Olayinka appeared in 25 games as rookie in 2017-18 and five games the following year, 2018-19, before a season-ending injury.
Prior to this time at Northern Michigan, Olayinka starred at Mather High School near Chicago, averaging 19.7 points, 12.5 rebounds and 4.8 blocks per game. Originally from Nigeria, he was selected to the all-city squad during his prep career.
Olayinka received all-conference laurels in his final season with the Wildcats.
In addition to six returning letterwinners from this past season, the Bulldogs will also welcome back wing Deng Reng (Wheaton, Ill.), who was injured last season, and three who redshirted this past year, including another D2 transfer in former Wisconsin-Parkside standout Solomon Oraegbu (Chicago, Ill.).
This past season, Ferris State claimed the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Regular Season Championship. Along with capturing the GLIAC's regular-season championship this past season, the Bulldogs also earned their sixth NCAA Division II Tournament appearance in the last eight years and advanced to the Midwest Region Semifinals, closing the year with a 22-9 overall record.