Minutemen Land Foreign Standout
July 21, 2003
AMHERST, Mass. -- University of Massachusetts men's basketball coach Steve Lappas announced tonight that Yann Stephane Lasme, a 6-8, 190-pound forward from Libreville, Gabon, Africa, has signed an institutional financial aid agreement to play for the 2003-04 Minutemen. No relation to former Massachusetts guard Michael Lasme, who played for UMass a year ago, Stephane Lasme is enrolled in second session summer school classes at UMass and will have four seasons of eligibility remaining beginning this winter.
"We are excited to have Stephane join our program," Lappas said. "We believe that he is a quality student and athlete. It is very exciting to find someone of his caliber at this point in time, and we feel he will be a very good addition to our program."
Lappas' staff began to recruit Lasme after his outstanding performance in the Eastern Invitational's (N.J.) All-Star Game earlier this month. Currently residing with his guardians in Dorchester, Mass., Lasme, 20, plans on majoring in Biology at UMass.
Before moving to the Commonwealth, Lasme spent three seasons (2000-03) playing for the Gabon National Team and coach Arimbi Nkolo. He attended Leon MBA High School from 1998-2002, where he played for coach Ebolo Firmin in the African High School Federation against other secondary schools. Lasme recently competed for Gabon in the All-Africa Games and has been playing basketball for the past four years.
Lasme will be one of seven newcomers to the UMass program next fall, joining freshmen Maurice Maxwell (Philadelphia, Pa.), Art Bowers (Wilmington, Del.), Lawrence Carrier (San Bernardino, Calif.), Stephen Briggs (Houston, Texas), sophomore Rashaun Freeman (Schnectady, N.Y.) and junior college transfer Chris Chadwick (Union, N.J.).