The Siena men’s basketball program received a commitment last week from Jackson Stormo, a center who played his first two college seasons at Pepperdine.
Stormo appeared in 35 games and played 186 minutes during his time at Pepperdine, and said Sunday in a phone interview that he had entered into the NCAA transfer portal to seek an opportunity with more potential playing time.
“Basically,” Stormo said, “I was looking for a school where I could really contribute to my team, more than what I was able to contribute with my previous team. I enjoyed my previous school, though, so I was really looking for a perfect situation and that’s what I found at Siena. Coach Carm is awesome.”
In his time at Pepperdine, the 6-foot-8, 250-pound Stormo scored 31 points and grabbed 38 rebounds. Even after entering the NCAA transfer portal, Stormo said it was possible he could have returned to Pepperdine for his junior season.
“I wanted to be on the court more, but I didn’t want to sacrifice being on a winning team with a good culture,” Stormo said, “and that’s what they have at Siena. . . . You can just tell by the way they act toward each other on the bench and during the game that they’re very much a team.”
Storm said he made his commitment to Siena head coach Carmen Maciariello last Tuesday and spent the next few days informing family and friends, and former coaches and teammates, about his decision. He posted on Instagram Friday that he was headed to Siena, where the expectation is he’ll sit out the 2020-21 season before joining the Saints on the court for two seasons starting with the 2021-22 campaign.
While it’s possible the NCAA could make a rule change this offseason that grants athletes in all sports a one-time transfer waiver that allows them to play immediately at their new school, the 20-year-old Stormo said his “mindset is to cross that bridge when we get there,” and he’s planning on needing to sit out from game action during his first season with the Saints.
“I’m excited to go to work for a whole year,” said Stormo, who is from Santa Barbara, California. “That’s a positive to me, instead of it being a negative thing.”
Siena added 6-foot-10 Kyle Arrington this past week, too. Arrington is a transfer from Western Illinois who won’t play or have a scholarship during the 2020-21 season, but will gain a scholarship for the 2021-22 season.
Stormo will be on scholarship right away, and the Saints currently have one remaining open scholarship for the 2020-21 season, assuming that Manny Camper withdraws from the NBA draft and returns for his senior season.
Reach Michael Kelly at [email protected] or @ByMichaelKelly on Twitter.