MARION, Ind. — The Indiana Wesleyan University men’s basketball program recently signed Grant Smith from Connersville, Indiana.
Smith, a 6-6 wing, led Connersville to a 27-2 record. Smith led his team in five statistical categories as he averaged 18.9 points, 9.9 rebounds, 4.7 assists, 1.6 steals, and 1.4 blocks per game. He finished his career with 1,093 points.
“We are exciting about adding a versatile player like Grant to our program,” said IWU head coach Greg Tonagel. “Grant is very athletic and can play multiple positions but what separates him is his willingness to do whatever is needed to help his team win. We are excited to watch Grant’s growth on and off the floor in the coming years.”
The Spartans were defeated in the regional finals by eventual 4A State champion Ben Davis. Connersville set an IHSAA record with a 6-0 record in overtime games this season.
“Grant is a great young man who set a high standard for his teammates and future Spartans to follow,” said Connersville head coach Kerry Brown. “He played with great intensity and was a very unselfish player. He helped lead our team to three consecutive conference championships and back-to-back sectional championships. He could have scored more but sacrificed his scoring for our team success.”
Smith joins 6-3 guard Kyle Mangas from Warsaw High School and 6-9 center Michael Zitney from Massillon-Jackson. Mangas scored 47 points in the morning game of the regionals to defeat East Chicago Central before falling in the regional finals to Merrillville. Zitney was part of a team that defeated Cincinnati Moeller to win the OHSAA State Championship.
“To have two guys from Indiana who were in the final eight of the tournament and another who was part of an Ohio State Championship is very exciting,” said Tonagel. “Four years ago, when we signed Nate Bubash as our fourth recruit in his class, the cumulative record of he, Bob Peters, Eric Readman, and Lane Mahurin was 79-2. That class leaves IWU with two national championships and a third appearance in the Fab 4. As they leave we are excited to add players who also have been well coached and have learned how to compete and win in big games.”