WINONA LAKE – The Grace College men’s basketball program has picked up two of its top recruits for next season.
Haden Deaton of McCutcheon and Matt Jennings of Logansport have signed their letters of intent to play with the Lancers.
“Both of these players are super additions. They are outstanding students and great kids with high character,” said Grace head coach Jim Kessler. “We are very pleased and fortunate to have these guys in Lancer red.”
Haden Deaton is a highly touted prospect from perennial basketball power McCutcheon.
As a junior, he scored 15 points per contest. McCutcheon was the 4A state runner-up last season and is currently ranked in the state’s top five.
Deaton was honorable mention for All-State after shooting 53 percent from the floor and 41 percent on 3-pointers. He also averaged 5.1 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game to help the Mavericks to a 28-4 record.
“Haden plays fearless. He’s been a big part of his team’s success over the past few years,” Kessler said. “He can light it up from deep or attack the rim. And on defense he matches up with several positions which will make him extremely valuable.”
Deaton scored 14 points in the Class 4A championship game as a junior and is off to a strong start as a senior. Through the team’s first seven games, he is scoring 18.2 points with 5.2 rebounds per game.
Matt Jennings is a an All-Conference performer from Logansport. The 6-foot guard produced 1,260 points over his first three seasons with the Berries.
As a junior Jennings exploded for a team-best 23.2 points per game, shooting 49 percent from the floor and 41 percent from the 3-point line. He was named All-Conference after both his sophomore and junior seasons and was honorable mention for All-State in 2016.
Jennings is one of eight players in Logansport’s history to eclipse 1,000 points.
“Grace provides fantastic educational opportunities and a strong basketball program,” Jennings said. “The coaches, players and facilities at Grace are outstanding, and the people at Grace will help me grow as a person and as an athlete.”
He averaged double figures in points in each of his underclassman seasons as well, including 17.6 points per game as a sophomore.
“Jennings comes from a rich heritage of basketball,” Kessler said. “He has the quickness, shooting ability and defensive skills we need to round out our team. He is equally strong at scoring as he is on the defensive end.”
Additionally, Jennings impressed on the school’s tennis team. He is a three-time All-Conference tennis player and was named honorable mention to the All-State Team twice.
“It has been a pleasure to coach Matt Jennings during his high school career,” said Logansport coach Pat Skaggs. “His passion, work ethic and athletic ability make him one of the best guards in the state in my opinion. Grace College is getting a fine young man who I believe will not only make a major impact on the court but will also be a great ambassador for the school.”