Coach Beard signs NJCAA All-American Niem Stevenson - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Coach Beard signs NJCAA All-American Niem Stevenson

Niem Stevenson (Source: Seward County Saints) Niem Stevenson (Source: Seward County Saints)

Provided by TTU Athletics

LUBBOCK, Texas – Texas Tech men's basketball head coach Chris Beard has signed two-time National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) All-American Niem Stevenson to a National Letter of Intent and Athletic Scholarship Agreement announced Tuesday as part of the spring NCAA signing period.

"I feel like I have a great connection with Coach Beard and Red Raider Nation has opened their arms for me ever since I have been on their radar," Stevenson said. "I can't wait to start my next journey in Lubbock in front of the greatest fans in the country."

Stevenson, a 6-5 guard from Dallas, Texas by way of Seward County Community College in Kansas, is the first signee under Beard and will join the Red Raiders as a junior for the 2016-17 season.

Stevenson piled up 24.7 points, 6.9 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.6 steals per game. He connected on 51 percent from the floor en route to NJCAA All-American First-Team honors last season. The 24.7 points per game were fourth in the NJCAA and led the Jayhawk Conference by a wide margin, while his 51 percent shooting clip was second among the NJCAA's Top 10 scorers.

Stevenson racked up 20-plus points in 24 games and eclipsed the 30-point plateau on seven occasions. His top three scoring efforts came against the top two teams in the Jayhawk Conference. Stevenson poured in 37 and 35 points on a combined 27-of-48 shooting against Hutchinson Community College and added 36 points versus Pratt Community College.

"Having coached at the collegiate level for over 20 years now, I have had the opportunity to coach a lot of different players and I can tell you that Niem is one of, if not the best, that I have ever been privileged to coach," Seward County Coach Bryan Zollinger said. "More than just his talents on game day, Niem is a fun kid to be around and knows when to laugh and joke and when it is time to get down to business.  He is a genuine person and is a nose to the grindstone worker. He is very coachable and isn't afraid to listen despite his immense talents. He has done everything that we have asked him to do in his three years here, and it has helped get him to this point. Knowing him as a person, Niem will do the same thing at Texas Tech and continue to be successful and an important part of the team there in Lubbock."

Stevenson was the first player in Seward program history to tuck away two NJCAA All-American selections. He was a third team pick after he posted 19.3 points, 5.3 rebounds, 1.6 steals and 1.4 assists per game in 2014. Stevenson also collected All-Jayhawk Conference First Team honors, All-Region VI First-Team accolades and was a two-time runner up for the Jayhawk Conference Most Valuable Player award. He chose the Red Raiders after interest from Kansas, North Carolina State, Ohio State Oregon and Texas A&M.

Stevenson wrapped his Seward County career and amassed 1,345 points which ranks fourth in program history. His 767 points in 2015-16 also was the fourth-highest single season mark in Seward County program history.

Stevenson put together a standout prep career at Rachview High School in Dallas where he played for Coach Dee Boys. He came away with 25 points and five rebounds per game during his senior season. He registered All-State honors and earned conference MVP status.

"Niem is one of the top athletic wing scorers the nation," junior college analyst Jerry Mullen said. "He is high character person and a great get for Coach Beard and Texas Tech."

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