Six Newcomers Look to Make Impact for UMBC Men’s Basketball

Six Newcomers Look to Make Impact for UMBC Men’s Basketball

Baltimore, Md.-- UMBC men's basketball will look to make their third straight appearance in the America East title game in 2019-20 after coming up just short of a repeat bid a year ago. This year, the Retrievers will welcome six newcomers to Baltimore, joining a core that has had their fair share of success with the program. 

Junior college transfers Keondre Kennedy (Atlanta, Ga./North Clayton/Labette CC) and Marcel Thompson (Baltimore, Md./Baltimore Polytechnic/South Plains College) join DI transfers Dimitrije Spasojevic (Vrsac, Serbia/Gimnazjia Cacak/East Carolina) and L.J. Owens (Annapolis, Md./Severn School/William & Mary) and freshman Nathan Johnson (Adel, Iowa/Sunrise Christian Academy) on the squad. Darnell Rogers (Baltimore, Md./Indian Land (SC)/New Mexico JC was announced as a signing earlier this summer. 

Keondre Kennedy
6-6 | 180 | So. | G
Atlanta, Ga./North Clayton/Labette CC

Background: Transfer from Labette Community College in Kansas… Was named Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference (KJCCC) Freshman of the Year a season ago while also earning First Team All-Conference honors… Averaged 18.3 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game, leading the Cardinals to an 18-14 record.

L.J. Owens
6-3 | 165 | So. | G
Annapolis, Md./Severn School/William & Mary

Background: Transfer from William & Mary where he appeared in all 31 games… Averaged 24 minutes per game and was fifth in the CAA amongst freshman in scoring at 6.9 ppg… Scored 14 points in his collegiate debut against High Point going 5-9 from the field in 25 minutes… Was named County Player of the Year at Severn School as a junior and senior… Scored over 2,000 points in his prep career.

Darnell Rogers
5-2 | 150 | Jr. | G
Baltimore, Md./Indian Land (SC)/New Mexico JC

Background: Transfer from New Mexico Junior College where he averaged 14.0 ppg, 2.5 rpg and 3.7 apg in one season with the Thunderbirds… Prior to NMJC, he played one year at Florida Gulf Coast where he played in 20 games scoring a season-high 11 points against Weber International… Was the leading scorer at Indian Land High School despite not playing his senior season… Scored 41 points in back-to-back games in high school… All-County Lancaster Player of the Year in 2013-14 and two-time Region 4-2AA Player of the Year ... started at point guard on the varsity level since 7th grade and helped Indian Land go 86-23, leading the school – as a team captain – to the Upper State Final Four twice ... in 2013-14, Indian Land won its first Region 4-2AA Championship in 30 years and won it again in 2014-15.

Marcel Thompson
6-3 | 190 | Jr. | G
Baltimore, Md./Baltimore Polytechnic/South Plains College

Background: Transfer from South Plains College… Was a part of the 2018 NJCAA D1 National Championship team… Also played at Grambling State where he scored 15 points in his collegiate debut against East Carolina.

Nathan Johnson
6-7 | 205 | Fr. | F
Adel, Iowa/Sunrise Christian Academy

Background: Played high school ball at Waukee High School before prepping at Sunrise Christian Academy in Kansas… Helped his team to a third-place finish in the state tournament, the best finish in school history… Played AAU with Kingdom Hoops.

Dimitrije Spasojevic
6-8 | 240 | Jr. | F
Vrsac, Serbia/Gimnazjia Cacak/East Carolina

Background: Transfer from East Carolina University where he played the last two seasons… Played in all 61 games making 40 starts while averaging 4.9 points, 3.0 rebounds, and 20.6 minutes per game over those two years… Helped his club team to two national championships… Played against current NBA players such as Ante Zizic, Dragan Bender, Ivica Zubac, Furkan Kormaz, and Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk on the international stage.