NORFOLK, Va. (NSUSpartans.com) – The Norfolk State men’s basketball program announced today a pair of Division I transfers will join the Spartans for next season. Forward Kris Bankston and guard Christian Ings will add to an NSU program coming off a MEAC Championship and NCAA Tournament appearance.
The 6-foot-8, 220-pound Bankston will arrive at Norfolk State from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, where he competed for the Trojans the last four years. Ings, a 6-2, 176-pound point guard, spent the previous two seasons at Rider University in New Jersey.
“We wanted to become more athletic overall as a team, and I think these two are a good start,” said NSU head coach Robert Jones.
Also a native of Little Rock, Bankston played in 80 games for the Trojans over the last four years. His best season came his sophomore year in 2018-19, when he averaged 8.2 points, 4.5 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 1.1 blocks in 31 games, including 17 starts. He shot 81 percent from the floor that year, and for his career, he is shooting 73 percent overall in more than 250 attempts.
Bankston tallied 4.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.0 blocks his freshman year in 2017-18 when he started 15 of 30 games. He received a medical hardship for the 2019-20 season after playing in just three games before missing the year due to injury. As a result of the NCAA’s eligibility relief for this past season, in which he appeared in 16 games, he will have two years of eligibility remaining.
“Kris will provide an athletic inside presence to our front line,” Jones said. “He has been a ridiculously efficient shooter from the field his whole career at Little Rock. We look forward to the next two years with him on the court.”
Ings, who hails from Philadelphia, played in 52 games and made 38 starts in two seasons at Rider. This past year, he averaged 7.7 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game. He shot 40 percent from the floor while starting 20 of 22 contests for the Broncs. He scored in double figures in eight games, including a career-high 15 in December at Manhattan.
As a freshman in 2019-20, Ings started 18 of 30 games for a Rider team that went 18-12 overall, 12-8 in the league. He tallied 4.9 points, 1.9 rebounds and 1.7 assists, shooting 42 percent from the floor. He will have three years of eligibility remaining.
“Christian is an ultra-athletic point guard,” stated Jones. “He will provide some highlight reel plays to Echols Hall for the next three seasons. He can handle the ball and slash to the rim with the best of them. With him being relatively young as a sophomore, his best basketball is definitely ahead of him.”
The duo joins guard Cahiem Brown, who signed with NSU in the fall, as part of this year’s recruiting class.
The Spartans won their second-ever MEAC Championship this season before defeating Appalachian State in the NCAA Tournament First Four. The win marked the program’s second in the NCAA Tournament in as many appearances.NSUwent 17-8 overall this year and tied for first in the MEAC Northern Division at 8-4.