Stafford Welcomed to Valpo Basketball Program
Wednesday, May 24, 2023
Stafford Welcomed to Valpo Basketball Program

The Valparaiso University men’s basketball program has announced the addition of Isaiah Stafford, a junior college transfer from John A. Logan College who will join head coach Roger Powell Jr.’s program for the 2023-24 season.

The 6-foot-2 guard from Bolingbrook, Ill. started his collegiate career at the University of Southern Indiana as a freshman in 2021-22 before going the JUCO route for one season at John. A. Logan.

“The coaching staff that Coach Roger has assembled is filled with winners,” Stafford said. “They all love to get better. I’m hoping to bring my winning culture and be an on-the-court leader. I’ve played two years and experienced college basketball. Part of culture building is having a group that loves the game and breathes basketball on and off the court.”

Stafford spent his first three prep years at Bolingbrook High School, where he was twice named Academic All-State, before transferring to Crispus Attucks in Indianapolis for his senior season. He averaged 18.4 points, 4.5 assists and 4.2 rebounds per game, shooting 51 percent from the field and 81 percent from the free-throw line en route to being named Indianapolis City Player of the Year after leading the team to an 18-7 record.

As a college freshman, Stafford played in 23 games and made 13 starts for the Screaming Eagles, averaging 8.8 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game. He poured in a season-high 31 points against Lindenwood, establishing a Screaming Eagles Arena record. The team went 18-8 that season, before he transferred to John A. Logan, where he helped the Vols to the junior college national title and a 33-2 mark.

“I’m a team player; I’m a leader,” he said. “I can shoot the ball, distribute and also guard on the defensive end. I like to think I’ll do anything to win. In my two years of college, I’ve learned how to see the floor better and the game has slowed down. I’ve also learned how to guard well and how to utilize media timeouts and other details that are part of the college game. I’ve learned the type of dedication and grind that goes into winning.”

Stafford plans to bring that grind to Valpo on and off the court. Away from the hardwood, he will pursue a degree in computer science. In his free time, Stafford enjoys spending time with family as well as playing board games, cards and video games.

“I want to look back on it and say that I’ve made the culture better, I was a positive influence on and off the court and led the team to wins,” Stafford said. “I want to be able to look back at my time at Valpo and say I’ve given my all to the institution.”

Stafford averaged 12.5 points per game and shot 50.6 percent from the floor including 45.7 percent from 3 this past season at John A. Logan.

“Isaiah is a proven winner,” Powell said. “The Chicagoland suburban area is a place that we wanted to attack in recruiting. Bringing him in helps us keep that pipeline strong. He adds a championship pedigree to our program after his success at John A. Logan and should have a great role for us.”