Arkansas State men’s basketball head coach Mike Balado announced Friday that McCook Community College standout Julian Lual and Assumption College transfer Omar El-Sheikh have joined the Red Wolves ahead of the 2022-23 season.
Lual played in 30 games for McCook in 2021-22 and averaged 14.1 points, 8.9 rebounds and 1.7 assists. He shot 43 percent from the floor and 33 percent beyond the arc while finishing with a double-double in 15 outings. He had double figures in 25 of 30 games played, including a high of 31 points against North Central Missouri College. As a freshman at McCook CC, Lual started all 25 games averaging 10.1 points and 6.1 rebounds, while shooting 45 percent from the field. He poured in 24 points as MCC defeated top-seeded Laramie County CC in the Region IX Tournament. Lual, a Calgary, Alberta native, prepped at Central Pointe Christian Academy in Kissimmee, Fla.
“Julian is a special young man,” Balado said. “He is a versatile, athletic forward that can play multiple positions. He brings more length and versatility to our team. I believe he can also be one of the best defenders in our league. He has the ability to score at all three levels which will make him a huge asset to our program.”
El-Sheikh played in 25 games at Division II Assumption College in 2021-22. He averaged 11.9 points, 11.2 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 0.8 blocks and 0.7 steals. He shot 47 percent from the field and 33 percent beyond the arc while collecting 15 double-doubles. El-Sheikh played the 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons at Division I Fairfield University. In 2018-19, he played in 10 games and averaged 2.6 points and 1.5 rebounds. He was 4-of-6 (.667) beyond the arc and shot 50 percent from the field. In his first season, El-Sheikh averaged 3.4 points and 2.7 rebounds over 23 games played. A native of Giza, Egypt, El-Sheikh played for the Egypt National Team in the FIBA U-19 World Championship and averaged 8.7 points, 7.5 rebounds and 1.3 assists in six appearances.
“Omar is a talented, skilled, and physical forward,” Balado said. “He can stretch the floor with his shooting range, possesses a very high basketball IQ and his ability to rebound is something that will be a big commodity. He is a mature player, and brings a ton of experience to our program.”
The sixth and seventh additions to the 2022-23 A-State men’s basketball roster, Lual and El-Sheikh join forward Alaaeddine Boutayeb (Florida State), guard Mak Manciel (Henry Ford College), guard Detrick Reeves (John A. Logan College), guard Terrance Ford (Victory Rock Prep) and forward Izayiah Nelson (Marietta HS).