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Stephon Castle caps freshman season off with a National Title at UConn
Stephon Castle UCONN

Just over a year removed from stepping off the Norcross court as a Ram for the final time, Stephon Castle stepped off the court in Arizona on Monday as a National Champion.

Castle, the former five-star prospect from Newton, ended his freshman campaign with the UConn Huskies with a National Title. 

The Huskies defeated Purdue 75-60 in a game in which Castle scored 15 points.

Castle started 30 of UConn’s 34 games in 2024 and posted 11.1 points per game to go along with 4.7 rebounds per game and 2.9 assists per game.

At the end of the season, Castle was awarded as the 2024 Big East Freshman of the Year along with a spot on the Big East All-Freshman team.

During the season, Castle was named Big East Freshman of the Week 11 times, which is an all-time Big East record.

Castle’s highest scoring game of the season came in the Final Four of the NCAA Tournament against Alabama.

Up against the Crimson Tide, Castle dropped 21 points.

Castle’s 21-point performance ranks third all-time for a Big East freshman in the Final Four, falling behind Carmelo Anthony (Syracuse, 2003) and Patrick Ewing (Georgetown, 1982).

Local Reactions

Shannon Buff, Newton High School Principal

“We are incredibly proud of Stephon,” Buff said. “What a great moment in the history of our school to see a RAM compete and WIN a National Title! Stephon is a great player with a big heart for those who look up to him. We are also so happy for his outstanding parents who have always been such a great supporter of him and of NHS!”

Barry Browner, Newton Rams head basketball coach

"Stephon's success was a result of his hard work and dedication to becoming one of the best basketball players in the country,” Browner said. “He came early and stayed late. We watched Steph continue to improve every year, resulting in Region Player Of The Year, Olympic Gold Medalist and now National Champion. His parents, Quan and Stacey, held him accountable and in these days that doesn't happen much. He showed on the biggest stage in front of the world what a kid from little ole Covington, GA can achieve. He has become an inspiration to every kid in Covington.”

Marcello Banes, Chairman of The Newton County Board of Commissioners

"I am so proud of this young man,” Banes said. “It is wonderful to see someone from our community, who came through the Newton County School System. reach this level of achievement. The fact that he has accomplished so much this early in his career is terrific.

“This community knew we would see great things from Stephon and we are seeing that now. Like so many of the other accomplished men and women who came through the Newton County School system, it inspires the next generation of youth who are coming through our schools to reach for the stars."

Cortez Allen, Newton High School Athletic Director

“It was really exciting to see Stephon playing in the biggest game of the year,” Allen said. “I was so proud to see Steph on the big screen [and] on the biggest stage of college basketball. He looked just like the Stephon Castle that led NHS for the last few years. We are so proud of him and we will continue to root for him. He has really made the school and community proud of him and his team’s accomplishments. A Great kid playing on one of the greatest teams in NCAA history!”

Abigail Coggin, chairperson of the Newton County Board of Education

We are so proud of Stephon's accomplishments both as a student at Newton High and now at UCONN. He continues to represent the RAMS by being Respectful, Accountable, Motivated, and Successful and I know with his continued commitment he will accomplish any goal that is set before him."

Charlemagne Gibbons, Former Newton Rams head coach 

“So proud of this guy,” Gibbons said. “Never skipped steps and stayed in his lane. Made it undeniable.”