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The Rogers State men's basketball team and coach Justin Barkley recently announced the addition of Levin Thornton to the coaching staff as an assistant coach.

"I am ecstatic to add a quality young man like Levin," Barkley said. “Levin comes highly recommended from a few coaches whom I respect a lot. He already has a great understanding of what a high-level NCAA Division 2 program should look like."

Thornton, who is originally from Mineral Springs, Ark., joins the Hillcats after spending the last two seasons as a student assistant coach at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin under Josh Newman.

"First and foremost, I want to thank Rogers State University and coach Barkley for this remarkable opportunity to join his program," Thornton said. "I am anxious to hit the ground running with our players and coaching staff. I am looking forward to not only meeting the expectations for next year but exceeding them. Go Hillcats!"

In four seasons under Newman, Thornton was directly involved in all aspects of recruiting, assisted in scouting, running practices and individual player development and managed all creative content and social media for the two basketball programs.

"I also would like to thank coach Josh Newman and coach Zane Gibson for not only developing me into a better person but into a better coach as well," Thornton said. "They pushed me every day for over four years. I wouldn't be in such a great situation without them."

In his last season with UTPB (2019-20), Thornton aided in the development of Pat Dembely, who scored the second-most points in program history with 702, en route to All-Lone Star Conference Second Team honors for the season and a second-straight appearance in the LSC Tournament.

In his first year with the Falcons (2018-19), Thornton helped in the development of Jacob Ledoux, who was named LSC Newcomer of the Year and First Team All-Conference. Ledoux finished the season with 527 points, the fourth player in program history to score 500 in a season.

Before his time at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin, Thornton served as a student assistant coach under Newman at the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith for two years.

In his first season at Arkansas-Fort Smith (2016-17), Thornton helped the Lions to a 23-11 record, capturing the Heartland Conference regular season championship, as well as winning the Heartland Conference Tournament championship and making an appearance in the NCAA Division II Tournament.

During Thornton's second year (2017-18) with the Lions, he again helped the Lions win the Heartland Conference regular season championship, breaking the school record for wins as UAFS went 24-6 and made another appearance in the NCAA Tournament.

Thornton earned his bachelor's degree in history with a minor in business from the University of Texas of the Permian Basin in May 2020.

"Levin will bring an energy and a contagious work ethic that our players will feed off of," Barkley said. "I'm looking forward to working with Levin and the rest of our staff this upcoming season."

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