Harris, Russell Lead Rebuilt Motlow Men’s Basketball Roster 

The Motlow State Bucks 2023-24 basketball team
The 2023-24 Motlow Bucks team includes (front row, left to right) Jesse Sledge, Isaiah Curry, Austin Chiles, JaDarian Faulkner, Camaurionn Taylor, Markeese Wiley, Andrew Lamuno (second row, left to right) Anfernee Hanna, Lawrence Montgomery, Dayne Crosslin, Suhayb Choaibi, Kimberly Johnson, Dantrez Caldwell (back row, left to right) Taylor Stovall, LaVonte Harris, Michael Okafor, Debron Russell, and Aiden Goins. (Photo Courtesy of Motlow State)

LOCAL SPORTS | The Motlow State men’s basketball team will look dramatically different this season as Head Coach Arthur Latham welcomes four returning sophomores, 12 freshmen, one redshirt sophomore, and one redshirt freshman.

Motlow began practice October 1 and has played five preseason scrimmages. The Bucks open the season on November 1 in Fulton, Mississippi at Itawamba Community College. Tipoff is 7:30 p.m. local time. In two weeks on November 13, the Bucks will host Itawamba, and debut Motlow’s brand new court, in the home opener at 7:30 p.m. in Nisbett Center. Admission is $6.

“With our size and length we have a chance to be a great defensive team and play at a fast pace in the open court,” said Latham. “If we can put it all together, we should be one of the top teams in our conference. All our returners will play key roles for us this season,” said Coach Latham. “LaVonte is an important component with his ability to score around the rim as well as shoot the three. Debron, Andrew, Lawrence, and Isaiah should all have an impact on both ends of the court.”

Raider basketball fans will recognize a pair of names on the Buck’s 2023-24 roster. Two former District 9A players from the Fayetteville Tiger will play for Motlow this season including Camaurionn Taylor and Kimberly Johnson. Taylor and Johnson both helped lead the Tigers to the TSSAA Class 1A state tournament in 2022-23. A complete list of this season’s players is as follows:


LaVonte Harris – 6’8” 200 lb. forward who played in all but one game last season and started 17 times. Harris, from Louisville, KY, averaged 6.1 points, 5.1 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 assist, and 1 blocked shot per game.

Debron Russell – 6’6” 180 lb. wing who started five games and played in 25. Russell, from Winchester, averaged six points, 4.6 rebounds, 1.3 steals, one assist, and 0.6 blocked shots per game.

Andrew Lamuno – 6’1” 175 lb. point guard who played in 29 games and started five. Lamuno, from Brentwood, averaged 3.8 points, 1.4 rebounds, 1.4 assists, and one steal per game.

Isaiah Curry – 6’0” 185 lb. point guard who played in 24 games. Curry, from Huntsville, averaged 2.9 points, 1.4 rebounds, 0.8 assists, and 0.5 steals per game.

Lawrence Montgomery – 6’4” 195 lb. redshirt sophomore guard who played in 15 games last year. Montgomery, from Springfield, KY, averaged three points and 2.9 rebounds per game.


Anfernee Hanna – 6’6” 195 lb. forward from Nassau, Bahamas. Hanna played high school basketball at Tallulah Falls in Georgia. During his time at Tallulah Falls, he scored 1,204 points, pulled down 620 rebounds, dished out 123 assists, captured 97 steals, and blocked 32 shots. He was named 2nd Team All-State his senior season.

JaDarian (JJ) Faulkner – 5’10” 165 lb. guard led Knoxville Karns to the Region 2-4A championship in 2022-23. He averaged 22.1 points, 7.2 assists, 5.5 rebounds, and 4.1 steals per game. Faulkner was named District 3-4A Player of the Year.

Aiden Goins – 6’9” 265 lb. forward/center joined Faulkner in leading Karns to the state tournament.

Camaurionn Taylor – 6’2” 165 lb. guard from Fayetteville High School. He helped lead the Tigers to the TSSAA Class 1A state tournament in 2022-23. Taylor was a three-sport athlete at Fayetteville, playing football and baseball in addition to basketball.

Kimberly Johnson – 6’1” 210 lb. guard from Fayetteville. Johnson joined with Taylor on the Tigers’ state tournament team.

Taylor Stovall – 6’6” 185 lb. redshirt freshman from Franklin County High School in Winchester. Taylor was a two-sport athlete in high school, playing soccer in addition to basketball.

Suhayb Choaibi – 6’4” 185 lb. from London, England. Choaibi played his prep basketball at Trinity Pawling High School in New York.

Dayne Crosslin – 5’11” 175 lb. guard from Coffee County High School in Manchester.

Dantrez Caldwell – 6’2” 175 lb. forward from Bolivar High School in Bolivar, TN.

Markeese Wiley – 5”10” 160 lb. point guard from Oakland High School in Murfreesboro.

Austin Chiles – 5’11” 200 lb. point guard from Louisville, KY. Chiles transferred from Lindsey Wilson College.

Jesse Sledge – 6’1” 170 lb. guard from Huntsville High School in Alabama.

Michael Okafor – 6’8” 215 lb. forward/center is originally from Nigeria and played his senior high school season at Grace Baptist Academy in Mississippi.

“JJ Faulkner and Anfernee Hanna are very talented offensive players, and both are pesky defenders,” continued Latham, “Aiden Goins has great size and can score in the post and step outside and hit the three. He can really help us be great on both offense and defense.”

Latham welcomes two new assistant coaches to the men’s program. Jade Patrick is a Motlow alum who played for the Bucks in 2014-16. Ben Vozzola is also helping. Vozzola played for Latham at St. Catherine College in 2014.

TCCAA conference play begins Nov. 15 at home against Roane State. The final non-conference game is Jan. 6, when Three Rivers Community College comes to Nisbett. Tipoff is 4 p.m. The regular season ends at home, with Southwest Tennessee visiting on Mar. 2 at 4 p.m. The TCCAA/Region VII Tournament will begin the next week at Motlow.

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