OGDEN – Weber State men’s basketball head coach Randy Rahe has announced the signing of four players to National Letters of Intent to join the Wildcat basketball program. WSU has added Zach Braxton, Hayden Hunter, Jeremiah Jefferson and Ryan Richardson to the team beginning with the 2014-15 season.
“As a group we feel really good about each one of these kids, not only because of their basketball abilities but because of the type of people they are and the high character they have,” Rahe said. “We really feel that all four of them fit our program and our culture very, very well and that will allow them to be extremely successful in our program. All four are also good students and come from excellent families with great values.
“Each one of these players comes from excellent basketball programs,” Rahe added. “They have all been coached very well in high school and by their AAU coaches which helped them grow as players. We are excited that all four of them will be good fits on and off the court and will represent Weber State Basketball in a first class manner.”
Zach Braxton is a 6-9, 240-pound center from Highlands Ranch, Colo., where he attends Highlands Ranch High School. He was rated as the fifth best player in the state of Colorado. Last season Braxton averaged 12.8 points, 10.5 rebounds and 1.3 assists while earning 5A First Team Continental League honors playing for coach Bob Caton. He led the league in rebounds and blocks during the season and averaged 15.8 points, 11.3 rebounds and 3.4 blocks in league games. Braxton also earned Honorable Mention All-State honors. He played on the Billups Elite AAU team under head coach Ronnie DeGray. He was also recruited by Wyoming, Colorado State, Denver and Northwestern.
“Zach wants to be a really good player and has great toughness and competitiveness,” Rahe said. “He is athletic and has very good hands and feet. He has good size and will become more athletic when we get him in our weight program. He has a world of potential to grow as a player and his future is very, very bright.”
Hayden Hunter is a 5-11 point guard who comes to Weber State out of North Richland, Texas. Hunter is a senior at Richland High School where he is coached by Richard Bacon. Last season he averaged 14.7 points and 4.2 assists per game and earned First Team All-District honors. He also knocked down 58 three-pointers during the season. Hunter has played for the Texas The Dream AAU team, coached by Vonzell Thomas. He was also recruited by Rice, Texas State, and Lehigh.
“Hayden has a great feel to play the point guard position,” Rahe said. “He has a high skill level and a high court awareness and feel for the game. He makes the right decisions with the ball and can also shoot very well from three. He has a knack for driving the ball and making good moves. He is also very competitive, loves to play and workout and is highly motivated to be a very good player.”
Jeremiah Jefferson is a highly recruited 6-2 shooting guard out of Dallas, Texas. He is a three-star recruit and was ranked as the 20th best player in the state of Texas. He attends Triple A Academy, playing for coach Tim Singleton. He averaged 20 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists last season in leading the team to a 1A state championship. Jefferson also shot 86 percent from the free throw line and was named the 1A state MVP and District Offensive Player of the Year. He also earned All-State honors and was named to the All-Tournament Team at the state championships. Jefferson played for the Mo Williams Elite AAU team under head coach Ray Forsett. He was also recruited by Tulsa, Texas Tech, UTEP and UT Arlington.
“Jeremiah is a very dynamic player,” Rahe added. “He is very athletic, very fast and is an extremely aggressive scorer. He has the ability to score in every which way and has the potential to be an outstanding defender. He plays with a ton of energy and is a very good team player. He is a really competitive kid and is all about winning. He lives in the gym and also has a really high potential.”
Ryan Richardson comes to Weber State out of Mesa, Ariz., where he is a senior at Dobson High School, playing for coach Rick McConnell. Richardson is a 6-4 wing player who averaged 16.9 points, 3.7 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.4 steals per game last season and earned Honorable Mention All-State honors and First Team All-City honors. He also shot 55 percent from the field, including 49 percent from three-point range. He was also named the Arizona Basketball Coaches Association All-Star. He played for the Arizona Compton Magic AAU team, coached by Ray Arvizu. Richardson was also recruited by Nevada, Utah State, Northern Arizona and Portland State.
“Ryan can really shoot the ball and has a really good feel for how to play the game, Rahe said. “He is one of the top shooters I saw all summer and really has a good on-court awareness and a sense of how to play. He has really improved his game off the bounce to become a more versatile scorer. He is a good athlete with good length and that will allow him to also turn into a very good defender. He is a high character guy and loves to be in the gym and work out. With some added weight and strength his future is also very bright.”