(Editor's note: DCC Athletics release)
GLENDIVE - Dawson Community College men's center Charles Lampten and women's guard Tamia Francis have signed NCAA National Letters of Intent to continue their college basketball careers, according to DCC.
Lampten, a 6’11" center has signed a National Letter of Intent with NCAA Division I College of Charleston in South Carolina where he will still have three years of eligibility. The Cougars play in the Colonial Athletic Conference and rank 7th all-time (.685) among the winningest programs in the country with the likes of Kentucky (.762), North Carolina (.735), Kansas (.727), Duke (.710), UCLA (.688) and UNLV (.687).
Lampten was named an NJCAA All-American this week. He is only the fourth Buccaneer to ever earn that honor in the program’s 63 year history.
“Charles is a special young man that will be dearly missed by our community and everyone at the college,"said Bucs' head men's coach Joe Peterson. "Personally I know that my family and I are really sad to see him go. He is a joy to be around. It’s been fun to see him grow and develop as a player, but also as a student and a man. He has really benefited from his time here, but all of us have been blessed by him as well. Charles is a winner! Our program has gone 50-10 in his two seasons, including 40-2 against conference opponents. I’m not sure anyone in Dawson history has won 6 separate championships in 2 years like he has. Out of high school, hardly anyone wanted him, and just two years later there were a ton of schools recruiting him. I know it was a tough decision for him, but I was impressed how he handled all of it and know that he will continue to grow and develop by leaps and bounds because he has the right character and the right work ethic.”
As a sophomore, Lampten was named 1st team All-Conference, All-Region and NJCAA All-American.
“My time at Dawson has been gratifying to say the least," Lampten said. "I have made countless memories with my friends, DCC staff and the community. So grateful that my college path started here because there really is no place like the Glendive atmosphere. Glendive is truly a place I can call home for many years to come. I’m excited about my new journey at C of C. I think it is a great place for me. I’m also really excited about the coaching staff. I believe they got something special going there and I have a great opportunity ahead of me.”
Lampten averaged 10.1 points, 8.7 rebounds and 2.9 blocked shots per game while helping Dawson win the Mon-Dak Conference Championship, Region XIII Tournament Championship, North Central District Championship and qualified for the NJCAA Division I National Tournament for the first time in program history. Lampten finished the season ranking in the top 10 in the nation in blocks per game and top 25 in the nation for offensive rebounds per game. His season high was 19 points and 18 rebounds in a win over Miles Community College on March 7th.
Lampten will be playing for new Cougars Head Coach, Pat Kelsey. Kelsey has spent the last nine years at Winthrop, where he led them to an average of 20.7 wins a season. This past season they received votes in the Top 25 and ranked as high as #2 in the collegeinsider.com Mid-Major Top 25 Poll. They led the conference in scoring offense and ranked 31st in the country in scoring offense. Kelsey compiled a 186-95 record (.662) in his 9 seasons there and a remarkable 110-46 record (.705) in conference play while winning four Big South regular season titles. Kelsey commented on his latest signing, “I am excited about the endless potential, athleticism, and character that Charles brings to our program.”
Lampten grew up in Cameroon, but moved to Roanoke, Texas when he was 15 and attended Byron Nelson High School.
Francis, a 5’3 sophomore point guard, played two years as a Lady Buccaneer after stellar a high school career in Toronto, Canada. This past season, Francis led the #2 seed Lady Bucs to the Region 13 championship and an overall record of 19-5. She was voted 1st Team All-Conference, NJCAA Division I All Region 13, World Exposure Report NJCAA Division I All-American Honorable Mention and WBCA All-American Honorable Mention. Francis had a career high of 34 points in one game, which is the 3rd highest in school history. She also tied the school record for having the most steals in a game with 10, and ranks 3rd all-time in career steals (139). In her sophomore season, she averaged 16 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals. She stood out as a conference statistical leader in scoring (#6), assists (#10) and steals (#4).
“Tamiya is a high impact player that can change the game on both sides of the ball," said Valdosta State Head Coach Deandra Schirmer. "She is a lockdown defender that will add to our already tough defensive front. We are very excited to add her to our program and feel that she is a perfect fit to our returning championship roster.”
The Lady Blazers were 2021 Gulf South Conference regular season champions, placing 3 players on the All-Conference list. They had the GSC Player of the Year and Schirmer was named Conference Coach of the Year. Their post player received first team WBCA All-American honors and will be returning next season. They were ranked as high as 5th nationally this year, and were ranked as high as 19th in the previous season. Valdosta has been ranked in the top 25 for both of Coach Schirmer’s two years at the helm. They led the conference in most defensive categories and look to add onto that dominance with Francis.