LAS CRUCES, N.M. – With the 2023-24 New Mexico State men’s basketball season rapidly approaching, first-year head coach Jason Hooten added seven-foot center Wake Forest transfer Davion Bradford to the team on Wednesday.
Bradford, a St. Louis native, has previously played at Wake Forest and Kansas State, amassing 384 points over 84 career games played at center.
Bradford joins the Aggies after spending a season in the Atlantic Coast Conference with Wake Forest. While in Winston-Salem, Bradford appeared in 26 games, making five starts. He scored a season-high 11 points on a perfect 5-of-5 shooting performance against Georgia.
Bradford continued his reign as one of the most consistent finishers around the rim, shooting 75.7% (28-of-37) for the season. In a home win over North Carolina, Bradford contributed effectively for the Demon Deacons, posting eight points and six rebounds in less than 18 minutes of action.
“Davion is a tremendous addition to our program. He has excellent size and an ability to score the ball that most bigs don’t possess in today’s game,” Hooten said. “His experience at the Power Five level will pay huge dividends moving forward, and I’m excited to get him into tip-top shape like he was in his freshman season at Kansas State. He has great hands, feet, and a high basketball IQ. There are so many things you can do with Davion, and we are really looking forward to what the future holds.”
Before his time in Winston-Salem, Bradford played at Kansas State for two years, appearing in 58 games. As a true freshman, Bradford was one of three Wildcats to play in all 29 games, starting each of the last 29. In his first season in Manhattan, Bradford registered the second-highest field goal percentage (62.1% / 90-of-145) in Kansas State history while also leading the team in scoring four times, including a game against the eventual national champion Baylor.
Bradford found his way into the scoring column in all 29 games, including ten double-digit point efforts. The dominant seven-footer led the Wildcats in dunks (32) throughout the season – the highest single-season total since the stat has been recorded (2005-06).
He logged a season-high 32 minutes for Kansas State in a win over No. 7 Oklahoma as a true freshman. While the victory over the Sooners may have been Bradford’s first against a top 25 opponent, he continued to excel against top talent, helping lead his teams to five wins over ranked opponents.
During his time at Kansas State, Bradford was teammates with Kaosi Ezeagu, one of his newest teammates at NM State. Bradford twice earned a spot on the Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll while also being named the recipient of the 2021 Porky Morgan Most Inspirational Award and the 2021 Ed Nealy Most Improved Award.
Out of high school, Bradford was a consensus Top 150 prospect according to several recruiting services, including No. 137 by Rivals.com. Bradford was also rated as one of the top 25 centers in the country. Initially, Bradford chose Kansas State over 15 other programs, including Missouri, Arizona State, Illinois, Iowa, and more.