College of the
50th logo
Athletics at CR : Men's Basketball Last Updated: Feb 4, 2015 - 12:35:55 PM

A CLEAN SLADE: CRs James Slade to sign full-ride to Sonoma
By Jackie Christensen
Apr 24, 2014 - 4:29:05 PM

Email this article
 Printer friendly page
After a long and deliberate process, he finally decided.
College of the Redwoods sophomore James Slade is taking his talents to wine country.
Slade, a standout two-sport athlete in basketball and baseball, will sign a full athletic scholarship to Sonoma State University on Friday to play basketball, but will also test the waters of SSU’s baseball program, which helped sway his decision.
“It came down to either Humboldt or Sonoma, they both offered full-rides,” said Slade, the 6-foot-3-inch, 230-pound guard/forward hybrid out of Ferndale who led the CR men’s basketball team in scoring (16.1 points per game) this season and was second on the team in rebounds (6.9), assists (3.7) and steals (1.3). “Part of it was wanting to get out of the area, part of it was that I really liked the guys and the team and part of it was that the coach said he’s had guys play for him that also pitched on the baseball team and that I could try to do both if I wanted. That’s what sold it for me. It was the most difficult decision I’ve ever had to make, but I felt like it was best for me to get out and start something new.”
Slade, who will look to complete his degree in math and pursue a professional career as a math teacher following his athletic career, visited Sonoma’s campus on a recruiting trip earlier this year and spent the night with the team, which, according to Slade, was another selling point.
“I got to play with the guys and stay the night and I just got along great with everybody,” Slade said. “I felt like I really fit in and could help the team.”
Playing for a new coach will definitely be a change for Slade, who has played under the tutelage of current CR men’s basketball coach Justin Mora for the past six seasons, going back to his high school days at Ferndale where he helped the Wildcats win back-to-back North Coast Section championships for the first time in school history before following his high school coach to CR in 2011.
“It’s definitely going to be something I have to get used to,” Slade said. “(Mora) has been my coach for the past six years, it’s going to be hard, but I also think it’s going to be good to learn other things from other people and hopefully get better.”
The breakup wasn’t as mutual on coach Mora’s end.
“He doesn’t know it yet but I’m gonna follow him to Sonoma,” Mora said laughing. “They don’t know it yet either but they got a new coach on staff. No, but it’s going to be different for sure. I started coaching him his sophomore year of high school and we’ve been through all the ups and downs together and he’s done everything we’ve asked him to do. It’s truly been a pleasure to coach him and be around him.”
Slade, who was the GVC’s defensive player of the year as a freshman in 2011-12, had an injury red-shirt year in 2012-13, breaking his right wrist in the team’s second game of the season.
“Personally, I think him sitting out that year was the probably the best thing for him,” Mora said. “I think he matured, and I think it gave him a little more fire. That was the first year he didn’t play since he started playing as a kid and I think he came back with a hunger and he showed it this year in the way he played.”
After completing his two-year playing career in basketball this year, earning a First-Team All-Golden Valley Conference selection, he joined the baseball team as a relief pitcher, where he has thrown 23.1 innings with 12 strikeouts.
CR is hosting a press conference on Friday on the main Eureka campus at 3:30 p.m. as Slade officially puts pen to paper to end his junior college career.
“It means a lot,” Slade said. “I’ve always wanted to play basketball at the highest level I could and just being able to have an opportunity to play somewhat close to home, it was perfect.”

© Copyright College of the Redwoods

Top of Page