Michael Karena, a 6-10, 240-pound forward, and Parker Ernthausen, a 6-9, 195-pound forward, have signed letters to attend Wright State University and play basketball for the Raiders next fall, WSU head coach Billy Donlon announced today.
Karena, a sophomore at South Plains College in Levelland, TX, played in 30 games as the team finished 29-6 overall and won the WJCAC championship as head coach Steve Green was named the conference Coach of the Year. South Plains finished the season ranked 5th in the national NJCAA poll. The Christchurch, New Zealand (Nelson) native shot 52% from the field and scored in double figures five of the final 10 games of the season.
“South Plains, led by legendary coach Steve Green, is always contending for the Junior College National Championship,” Donlon said. “Mike brings size, athleticism, and a skill set that will give him a chance to be successful in the Horizon League. I want to thank my staff for the job they have done in recruiting this class.”
Karena was the starting center for the New Zealand U16, U17 and U18 teams. He led Nelson in the National Secondary Schools Tournament as he averaged 30 points per game and 16 rebounds. He becomes the first Raider basketball player from New Zealand and joins current men’s tennis player Hayden Joblin, a senior from Brooklyn, New Zealand.
Ernsthausen, a senior at Toledo (OH) St. John’s High School, averaged 12.6 points and a Three Rivers Athletic Conference-best 8.2 rebounds per game during his senior season with the Titans. Following the 2013-14 season, he was named an All-TRAC first-team and All-District third-team honoree.
"Coach Heintschel has had many players go on to Division I and be successful and this played a vital role in our recruitment of Parker,” Donlon said. “Parker's best days are ahead of him with his instinct to score and skill level.”
Wright State advanced to the finals of the Horizon League for the second straight year and to the second round of the CIT Tournament, finishing with 21 wins.
In the early signing period, the Raiders inked:
Grant Benzinger, 6-3 Guard from Cincinnati, OH (Moeller HS)
Roderick Davis, 6-8 Forward from Brandon, FL (Brandon HS)
Grant Evans, 6-3 Guard from Selma, IN (Wapahani HS)
Justin Mitchell, 6-4 Guard from Ft. Wayne, IN (Wayne HS)Joe Thomasson, 6-4 Guard from Dayton, OH (State Fair CC)