Wake Forest Signs CJ Harris and Ari Stewart

November 12th, 2008
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Wake Forest head coach Dino Gaudio announced today that two prospective student-athletes have signed National Letters of Intent to attend Wake Forest beginning in the fall of 2009.

Guard C.J. Harris (Winston-Salem, N.C.) and forward Ari Stewart (Marietta, Ga.) signed their official commitments on Wednesday to join the Demon Deacon basketball family next season.

Harris is a local product out of Winston-Salem's Mount Tabor High School. The 6-2, 175-pound combo guard is yet another in a long line of talented Winston-Salem area natives to sign with the Deacons. Harris joins Josh Howard, Chris Paul and current Deacon L.D. Williams as recent local products who stayed close to home to play their collegiate basketball.

Harris is currently a senior at Mount Tabor, playing under coach Andy Muse, the brother of Deacon assistant Mike Muse. Last season, Harris was named to the North Carolina 4A All-State team after leading the Spartans to the state quarterfinals and a Central Piedmont Conference championship as a junior.

Harris averaged 19.1 points, 6.2 rebounds, 5.4 assists and 4.5 steals per game to lead Mount Tabor to a 26-4 record and a No. 7 state ranking last season.

Harris is rated by ESPN as the No. 16 point guard in the class of 2009. Rivals lists Harris as the No. 25 point guard in the class, while Scout has him as the No. 26 shooting guard.

"C.J. Harris has a chance to be a terrific player for us," said Gaudio. "He comes from a great basketball program; Andy Muse is one of the top high school coaches in the country. C.J. will come in incredibly well-prepared for the rigors of college basketball. He's a combo guard that can help us at both the one and the two, and he's a hard-playing kid who defends. We're really excited about having him in the program. C.J. has a chance to come in and be an impact freshman for us."

Stewart is a 6-7, 190-pound forward out of Wheeler High School in Marietta, Ga. Playing under coach Doug Lipscomb, Stewart helped Wheeler to the Georgia 5A state championship game in 2007-08 before falling to Norcross and current Deacon Al-Farouq Aminu.

Led by Stewart and NC State commitment Richard Howell, Wheeler enters this season as a heavy favorite to win the state championship. The Wildcats are ranked No. 3 in the nation and No. 1 in the Southeast Region according to PrepNation. ESPN currently ranks Wheeler as the No. 7 prep team in the country.

Last season, Stewart averaged 16 points and eight rebounds per game to help the Wildcats finish 30-3 and earn a No. 21 national ranking.

Stewart is rated by Rivals as the No. 53 overall prospect and the No. 11 small forward in the class of 2009. Scout has Stewart as the No. 12 small forward and No. 61 overall prospect, while ESPN lists Stewart as the No. 13 small forward.

"Ari Stewart can come in and be an impact player his first year for us," said Gaudio. "He's a big guard who can not only shoot the ball but rebound. He is also a terrific on the ball defender with his size and is an excellent rebounder. He comes from one of the top programs in the country in Wheeler High School. Doug Lipscomb has done a marvelous job with that program for years. Ari Stewart will be an added dimension that we haven't had at Wake Forest since Josh Howard."