BELLEVILLE — The junior college basketball recruiting pipeline continues to flow toward Southwestern Illinois College with the announcement this week that Champaign's Corvon Butler has given a verbal commitment to join the Blue Storm beginning this fall.
A 6-foot, 5-inch guard-forward, who played at Champaign Central High School, Butler will have one season with SWIC after playing the 2012-13 campaign at North Carolina A&T.
"I know it's just one year, but we've had pretty good luck with kids who have been here one year. I can think of two right off the bat in Marcellus Sommerville and Lance Stemler,'' SWIC coach Jay Harrington said. "From what I hear, Corvon went to a school which didn't fit his style.
"But in talking to (SWIC player) Luke Norman, and his dad (former Highland Community College coach) Pete Norman, they both have told me that Corvon is just a tremendous talent.''
When Butler makes it official and signs with SWIC, he will join Falando Wilkinson of Collinsville, Hunter Reine of Roxana and Kyle Lemons from Francis Howell North High School in St. Charles, Mo., as the Blue Storm's recruiting class for the 2013-14 season.
The 6-2 Wilkinson was a bright spot for Collinsville. The Kahoks quarterback on the court, Wilkinson averaged 17.5 points, 5 rebounds and 2 assists per game on a team which at times struggled to score.
"The thing I like most about Falando is his basketball IQ. The young man is just very smart and really knows how to play the game," Harrington said. "He's treated a lot like our Keanau (Post) in that teams are very physical with him and make it hard for him to touch the basketball once he gives it up.
"But he still averaged 17 points a game. That tells me something right there."
Harrington said Wilkinson will play both point guard and off-guard for the Blue Storm.
"Also, the kid can flat-out shoot the basketball. A college coach told me that Falando reminds him of Jerry Eaves, who played at Louisville a few years back," Harrington said. "To some he may look slow, but when he needs to, Falando can play fast as well. He knows how to pace himself."
In the 6-9 220-pound Reine, the Blue Storm landed a player who has been one of the best in the metro-east for the past two years.
Reine averaged 18 points and 13 rebounds this past season and finished his high school career with more than 2,000 points and 1,500 rebounds.
"That doesn't happen very often," Harrington said of Reine's accomplishments. "Hunter is a big, strong kid we feel could be a very good college player. He's a power forward/center combination with good hands who can shoot the basketball."
Harrington has little doubt Reine can play at the NJCAA Division I level.
"We've had several small-school players come in and excel in our program. I know Hunter is excited and anxious to show what he can do," Harrington said. "He's played with the St. Louis Eagles. That tells me a lot right there."
In Lemons, a 6-5 guard, SWIC may have landed a missing piece to its puzzle.
Ranked among the top 10 scorers in the St. Louis-area at 22.8 points per game, Lemons is a pure shooter.
Harrington said Tuesday that the Blue Storm remains in the running for several top players -- including two of the top players in the metro-east in Keenan Minor of Cahokia and Deshawn Munson of East St. Louis.
Several other local athletes have also announced their future plans
* Nashville senior Chance Reuter will attend Maryville, (Mo.) University on a golf scholarship. Rueter, was a Belleville News-Democrat Class 1A first team all-area selection last season, when he helped the Hornets reach the Class 1A state finals.
* A member of the Nashville girls golf team, which has reached the state tournament the past three years, senior Katelyn Morris has announced she will attend Kaskaskia College in Centralia on a golf scholarshhip. * A four-year letterwinner at Granite City, senior Nick Grote will play college soccer at Central Methodist University.
* Granite City senior Abby Boushard will play soccer at Lindenwood University Belleville beginning in the 2013-14 season
* One of the top golfers in the Southwestern Conference during the 2012 season, Belleville East senior Max Bennett will attend Quincy University on a golf scholarship.