History made in South Australian Basketball - FOUR Athletes Commit to NCAA Div 1 Men's programs
Pictured: U20 National Championship winners in February 2017. Players in back row. Alex Mudronja (6'5'' PG, 2018 Prospect), Ben Carter (6'10'' PF, 2018 Prospect), Michael Harris (6'3'' Shooting Guard, 2017 Prospect), Harrison mills (6'5'' Wing, 2017 Commit, Northern Iowa Area Community College)
Seated Ray Harding (6'6'' Wing, 2017 Commit, Northern Iowa Area Community College), Brent Hank (6'10'' Power Forward, 2017 Commit, University of Albany), Owen Hulland (6'11'' Stretch 4, 2018 prospect), Jacob Rigoni (6'6'' Wing, 2017 Commit, Quinnipiac University), Isaac White (6'1'' PG, 2017 Commit, Stanford), Harry Reemst (6'4'' PG, 2017 Commit , Lake Region State College)
History has been made for South Australian basketball with 4 men committing to Div 1 College programs in the United States for the same year.
Further below are the releases we filed to Field Level, Phenom Report etc on each of their commitments.
They have EARNED this opportunity just like they earned our support for them. At www.highperformancehoopsnetwork.com we had faith they would put in the work, with their families' support to climb our nation's pathways. We knew THEY had what it takes. We went on this journey with them, based on THEIR goals, well before most others thought they would achieve what they have been able to.
I want to personally thank Paul Mesecke. Paul was Director of Coaching at Sturt Sabres between 2000 and 2016 when Isaac White, Jacob Rigoni and Lat Mayen went through the club. He also guided, mentored and supported me to support these athletes as their coach, and then assisting and supporting them with their college aspirations.
Each journey is different, they have had others help them along the way too, which I know they are very grateful for. At www.highperformancehoopsnetwork.com we have been involved in different ways with each athlete. We are extremely proud of all these young men and today I am personally proud as their former coach and now to call them my friends.
What they have done individually is great, but what they have done collectively is make history for basketball in South Australia. They have driven, led and mentored each other through their journeys and they have become great men today, not just as basketballers but as leaders, with drive, work ethic and great team values.
We also greatly value the Aussie pathways and the talent Australian basketball produces with great coaching, opportunities for High School aged players to play against high level men in premier league and SEABL, and values driven cultures in programs. Well done and thankyou to Sturt Sabres and Central Districts Lions coaches, administrators and staff that have supported these men. Various state coaches who have coached them must also be acknowledged for their great work and efforts. Also to the Centre of Excellence and National Coaches that have provided significant support in their development and journeys.
We are now moving forward with our 2018 athletes. Do not sleep on this next wave of talent for 2018. Engage with us here ASAP, we will help you learn their games, the type of men they are and assist you with the recruiting process so you can learn about them, their needs and their games.
Follow TCU, Stanford, Quinnipiac, Albany!!
We hope that many around Australia will follow the progress of these men and the great programs they have committed in TCU in the Big12, Stanford in the Pac-12, Quinnipiac in the MAAC and Albany in the AEC.
We put together this video montage to celebrate the 2017 athlete's success and commitments and the 2018 prospects:
Pictured: Lat Mayen has committed to TCU
Coach Andrew Jantke, at Sturt Sabres, had this to say about Mayen's recruitment to Texas Christian University, "Thanks for the opportunity! I coach Sturt Sabres and also am the Head Coach for the State of South Australia U18 side. Lat played for me in 2014-15 at Sturt before moving to the Basketball Australia’s Centre of Excellence in Canberra and playing under Adam Caporn. He attended Concordia College, a heralded basketball program in SA, and played in the school's Open A team. He also played for the Adelaide Warriors, a basketball club consisting of many Sudanese Aussies, which is run by his brother Aciek Mayen, who had a huge influence on Lat. Prior to joining my team he also had a really good grounding from local skills coach, and former pro player, Rashad Tucker who runs GTM Academy. He is currently in our u19s National Squad and based at the Centre of Excellence at Australian Institute of sport where guys like Jack White (Duke), Dejan Vasiljevic (Miami), Isaac Humphries (Kentucky) etc spent time.
Lat has a very, very good feel for the game. He has a unique ability to play in narrow corridors in pick and rolls, slipping between defenders on his way to the rim. He is one of the most versatile kids I have seen and will have the capability to rank high in all statistical categories when given the opportunity. He is not going to be a dominant scorer but his decision making is so good he will score or pass finding the right guy, in the right time in right spot. He has ability to score all over the floor, knocking down 3s, mid-range and on the rim. Defensively, in traps and presses, we played him a lot up the floor because of his long wingspan and good lateral movement in defense he was a menace. Able to create deflections and making it very tough for small guards to make a pass out of our press or get past him.
David Patrick will continue the success he has always had with Aussies with this signing. I cannot wait to see him play for TCU, he will have a big following back home."
Pictured: Brent (far left) with other 2017 Aussie commits to the University of Albany
Andrew Jantke: "I was lucky to be Director of Coaching at Central Districts Lions when I heard about Brent and recruited Brent to the club, heavily working with him in the program over a few years, and also got to coach him for a couple of years in our U16 Div 1 team and also in our state's high performance program at East Coast Challenge tournament. Initially Brent was flying in and out to play for our club showing a huge commitment to his development. After 12 months we managed, with the help of Rupert Sapwell of Trinity College, to attract Brent to move down to Gawler. He never looked back and went on to make South Australian Metro state teams, touring with AUSA AAU tours, playing for Trinity College, Central Districts LIons and joining the Australian National U19s Squad. This man is a powerhouse, good athlete for his size, able to play on the rim as an inside receiver, punishing defenders helping off, a tough pick and roll screener as well as a supreme rim protector. He is apt at guarding pick and rolls and is a definately a pass first big man, great role player.
Coach Brown and Pelletier at Albany have great experience with Aussies and have achieved great success in recent years. Very excited to see Brent continue the tradition of Aussie success at U of Albany."
Coach Andrew Jantke, at Sturt Sabres, had this to say about White's recruitment to Stanford University, "Incredibly proud that this young man has committed to Stanford. He has worked incredibly hard and is a big part of the reason why our Sturt Sabres team was so successful over the years I coached him as one of the top teams in the country. This success also carried through to his leadership roles with Sacred Heart College and our South Australian State team. He has also dominated for the National Australian team at the Albert Schweitzer Tournament, FIBA Oceania tournament. He has continued to be a leader with the Sturt Sabres right through to our Premier League program. His commitment is our 2nd so far, with his team mate Lat Mayen also committing to TCU in the Big 12 and more team mates to commit soon. Isaac builds successful cultures where ever he goes through his work ethic and leadership in which he leads by example. He is a coaches' dream, with high IQ and always wanting to learn and improve. A skilled scorer, physically tough on the rim with amazing tactical decision making in the paint, he is able to stroke open 3s at an elite level too. His toughness and work ethic transfers into the defensive end where he is able to shut down players at all level with his hard nosed, physical style and supreme efforts.
I expect Stanford to build back into a national powerhouse with this signing. Well done to coaches Haase, Cohen and Stanford with this signing."
Coach Andrew Jantke, at Sturt Sabres, had this to say about Rigoni's recruitment to Quinnipiac University:
"Very proud to announce that Jacob Rigoni has committed to Quinnipiac University in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.
Jacob continues a long line of successful players from the Sturt Sabres basketball club, playing at the club since 11 yrs of age. Sturt are well known nationally for developing talent to collegiate and professional levels. He also played for his Father Paul in Sturt's premier League team for the past couple of years making the Championship Game in both years. He graduated Mercedes College in December 2016, leading their basketball program.
I was fortunate to work with Jacob as his U18 Div 1 men's coach in 2014/15 at the Sturt Sabres basketball club and also coach him for South Australia's High Performance program at the East Coast Challenge in 2015. A tournament that included some of the countries' Division 1 prospects such as Deng Gak (University of Miami Commit), Brent Hank (University of Albany commit) and Gabe Hadley (New Mexico State Commit), amongst others.
Our U18 Div 1 team, a part of Sturt Sabres basketball club (the most successful junior club in South Australia), led by the likes of Jacob, Isaac White (Stanford commit), Lat Mayen (TCU commit) Alex Mudronja (6'5'' PG, Class of 2018 prospect), Ben Carter (6'10'' Power Forward, Class of 2018 prospect), went 50-3 that year. This team emerging to dominate South Australian junior basketball at a level rarely seen before and onto become one of the best teams in the country.
Jacob is a tough, versatile, high IQ wing that can go inside and out punishing bigger defenders with a crafty jab and drive on the rim, ability to pull up at mid range at an elite level and post up smaller defenders with the best post moves and footwork I've ever seen. He has quietly gone about his business in his journey emerging as one our countries' best college prospects for 2017 (along with the likes of Isaac White and Lat Mayen) with an MVP award at U20 National Championships, captaining the state of South Australia to their first Championship since 1993 at this level. He has also had success at the International level with great performances playing for Australia at the Albert Schweitzer Tournament and FIBA Oceania Championships
This is a great pickup for Quinnipiac but also a great opportunity for Jacob to play under new coach Baker Dunleavy. Coach Dunleavy was formerly Associate Head Coach at the heralded Villanova, helping them win a national championship in 2016. The Dunleavy family name needs no introduction to basketball fans and we are very excited by the program Coach Dunleavy and his staff, including Shaun Morris and Anthony Goins, are building."