-- Three men signed a letter-of-intent on Wednesday to continue their careers with the Creighton basketball program. Zach Hanson, Darian Harris and Toby Hegner will all join the Jays next fall as freshmen and have four years of eligibility remaining.
"We are excited to announce the addition of three quality young men to the Creighton Family," said third-year head coach Greg McDermott. "Each of them possess the qualities that we look for as we go through the recruiting process. They come from tremendous families, have a high level of character, are quality students and compete for quality High School basketball programs. We fully expect them to be tremendous ambassadors to the Mission of Creighton University and to carry on the great tradition that the Creighton Nation has come to enjoy."
Hanson is a 6-foot-9 forward from Pierre, S.D., where he plays for T.F. Riggs High School. Hanson was named South Dakota Gatorade Player of the Year as a junior after averaging 17.3 points, 7.7 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game for a team that finished 18-8 and third in South Dakota's largest classification. Hanson is a two-time all-state pick and enters his fourth year on the varsity ranked third in school history in rebounds and seventh in scoring.
"Zach is a young man who has a tremendous potential," said McDermott. "At 6’9” and 240 pounds he has the ability to be a very productive post player in the MVC. He can shoot to the 3-point line and can also score in a variety of ways around the rim. We are planning on him having a very good career at Creighton."
Harris is a 6-foot-6 guard from Springdale, Ark., where he competes for Shiloh Christian High School. Harris averaged 23.1 points, 7.8 rebounds and 5.7 assists per game as a junior, was named league player of the year and earned all-state accolades. Harris also played for the Arkansas Wings Elite AAU program, which went 9-0 to win the AAU 11th Grade National Championship at Disney World in July.
"Darian can dribble, pass and shoot and possesses a high basketball IQ," said McDermott. "He won an AAU National Championship this summer with the Arkansas Wings. As he develops his body we anticipate him being a valuable asset to our program at the wing position."
Hegner is a 6-foot-10 forward from Berlin, Wis., where he plays for Berlin High School. He averaged 16.9 points, 8.9 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game as a junior after averages of 16.4 points, 8.9 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game as a sophomore. Hegner was an honorable-mention all-state pick by the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association last year.
"Toby is a very skilled big man who has the ability to stretch the defense with his perimeter shooting yet also possess nice moves around the rim," said McDermott. "He had a great summer and is continuing to work hard to develop his body. He will be able to play multiple positions for us and we believe that his best basketball is ahead of him."
Creighton's current team is ranked 15th nationally by the Associated Press and returns to the floor tonight with a 7:05 pm game against UAB. The contest can be heard on KXSP (590 AM), will be televised on NET-HD and ESPN Full Court, and can be watched free worldwide on the NET website at http://www.netnebraska.org/basic-page/sports/sports
or on ESPN3.com