Northern Iowa inks three players to LOI
Travis Brown is one of three Panther signees
Travis Brown is one of three Panther signees

Posted Nov 10, 2004

The University of Northern Iowa men’s basketball team has signed three players to national letters of intent, UNI head coach Greg McDermott announced today.

Guard Mason Stewart (Aurora, Ill./Waubonsie Valley), forward Jermain Raffington (Bad Krozingen, Germany/Urspring) and guard Travis Brown (Richfield, Minn./Richfield) signed with the Panthers.

“We are very excited to add Mason, Jermain and Travis to our program,” McDermott said. “All three are fundamentally sound from a basketball standpoint, and possess the work ethic and positive attitude that has become the staple of our team. They are also leaders in their respective communities and have a proven record of academic success.”

Stewart, a 6-2, 175-pound combo guard, averaged 19.2 points per game as a junior for Waubonsie Valley High School. He reached double-figures in scoring in 28 of 30 games, with a season high of 30, while shooting 44 percent from the field and 40 percent from three-point range. He was a unanimous all-conference selection both his sophomore and junior seasons, and an honorable mention all-area pick as a junior by the Chicago Sun-Times.

“Mason brings instant energy to the basketball floor,” McDermott said. “His ability to change the game defensively and create opportunities with his quickness on the offensive end of the floor is very impressive.”

The 6-8, 220-pound Raffington played at Urspring School in Schelklingen, Germany, and was a teammate of current Panther Vince Polakovic from 2002-04. In 2002, Raffington was selected as one of the top five players at the Dirk Nowitzki Basketball Academy. He averaged 13 points and nine rebounds per game as a member of the German U20 national team this past summer.

“Jermain’s ability to defend on the perimeter, as well as be an effective scorer both on the block and from the three-point line, will be a great addition to our front line,” McDermott said.

Brown averaged 17 points, seven rebounds and three assists last season for Richfield High School. The 6-3, 175-pound shooting guard helped lead the Spartans to a 21-5 record and a conference co-championship in 2003-04. He was also a member of the Howard Pulley AAU team that produced current Panthers Erik Crawford and Eric Coleman.

“Travis is a very complete basketball player,” McDermott said. “We were impressed with his ability to score in a variety of ways. He is a fierce competitor that can impact the game on both ends of the floor.”

The Panthers play their final exhibition game this Saturday (Nov. 13) at 2:05 p.m. against Southwest Minnesota State in the West Gym. UNI opens its regular season Sunday, Nov. 21 at 5:05 p.m. against Wayne State (Neb.) in the UNI-Dome.

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