The Iona College Athletic Department announced Thursday that sophomore Tavon Sledge, who started his college career at Iowa State, had been granted a hardship waiver by the NCAA to play for the Gaels' basketball team in the 2012-2013 season.
With this announcement Iona could be considered to be reloading instead of rebuilding after losing six seniors from last year's NCAA team—led by point guard Scott Machado, who is now with the Houston Rockets.
An account from slamonline.com indicated that Sledge was attracted by the guard play at Iona (Machado and current Iona senior Lamont "Momo" Jones") and the fast-paced game taught by head coach Tim Cluess.
The account mentioned that going to school close to home in New Rochelle was attractive after spending a year in the Midwest.
Tavon Sledge is a native of Rockland County and attended Half Hollow Hills West High School on Long Island and Saint Benedict's Prep School in Newark, NJ before originally signing with the Cyclones.
The 5'9" point guard was considered one of the best high school players coming out of the New York City area in 2011, having been named All-New York City First Team by NYHoops.com.
Sledge can play, averaging 25.3 points, 5.2 assists and 3.5 steals per game as a senior. He received All-State, All-Long Island, and All-Conference honors and was ranked the 79th best high school player in the country during 2011 by Hoopscoop.com.
His breakout performance in the state quarterfinals was a 46 point effort scored in a double-overtime win over Elmont.
During his junior year, Sledge played on the Half Hollow Hills team which won the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Class AA Championship. He played in eight games last season for Iowa State.
This is quite a recruiting win by Iona as Sledge can be expected to complement "Momo" Jones in the backcourt this year rather than sitting and waiting for next year.
Ken Kraetzer covers Iona Basketball and West Point football for WVOX 1460 AM in New Rochelle, NY.