The Weber State University men’s basketball team and head coach Randy Rahe have announced the signings of four freshman recruits to the Wildcat basketball program since April.
The four recruits include Israel Barnes, a 6-foot-4-inch guard out of Wichita State; Donatas Kupsas, a 6-foot-8-inch forward from Joniskis, Lithuania; Caleb Nero, a 6-foot-2-inch guard from Tulsa, Oklahoma; and just recently, Dima Zdor, a 6-foot-10-inch forward hailing from Yalta, Ukraine.
The Dima Zdor signing was announced June 19, and he will be the second player to wear a purple and white jersey from the Ukraine, the other, Joel Bolomboy.
Zdor played his high school basketball in Hagerstown, Maryland, where he averaged 14 points, nine rebounds and two blocked shots per game.
“We couldn’t be more excited to have Dima join us at Weber State,” Rahe said. “He is an excellent athlete with a very good feel for the game and can stretch the floor and make plays off the bounce. He’s very versatile and has the potential to be an outstanding defender and rim protector.”
Zdor will be joined by fellow international recruit Kupsas in the frontcourt. Kupsas played high school basketball in Long Island, New York. As a senior at Long Island Lutheran, Kupsas averaged a double-double, with 15 points and 12 rebounds per game.
He earned first-team All-Long Island honors, was named to the All-tournament team at the Beach Ball Classic and was a member of the Lithuania FIBA U19 World Cup team that played in Egypt last summer.
WSU also signed two players that will add scoring to their backcourt, as both Barnes and Nero averaged over 20 points per game for their respective high schools.
Barnes comes in with an impressive resume. As a three-star recruit, he is the highest recruited player in this class for Weber. During his junior season, he averaged nearly 28 points per game, along with 8 rebounds and 1.7 steals
“We couldn’t be more excited to have Israel join our program,” Rahe said. “He was our top prospect at the guard position this year and is a perfect fit in our culture. He is a versatile player and can play multiple positions. We feel he can come in and make a strong, immediate impact on our program.”
Barnes was actually a high school teammate of current WSU star Jerrick Harding, who were an impressive scoring tandem in high school. The two averaged a combined 47 points per game.
Nero will also be a welcome addition. He averaged 24.8 points, 4.5 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 1.5 steals per game as a senior and was even named the state MVP after leading Tulsa Memorial High School to the 5A state title.
Nero is actually a year removed from high school, as he committed and then de-committed from Milwaukee due to a coaching change. He instead played with Sunrise Christian Prep Academy in Wichita, Kansas, where he scored 13 points per game.
“Caleb is a very skilled athletic player that has a good feel for the game and can really score at all three levels,” Rahe said. “He is a high-character person with tremendous work ethic and is highly motivated to be the best he can be. We couldn’t be more excited to have Caleb join our program.”
The Weber State men’s basketball team finished it’s summer camps last month. Their home opener for the 2018-19 season hasn’t been announced yet, but home games will include BYU, Fresno State and Utah Valley.