Posted On: 09/14/20 7:20 PM
Barring any last minute decisions, the college destinations of the Class of 2020 in Oregon have been determined and this month, many of those getting ready to start their college basketball careers will have enrolled in school. Here’s a list of those who are heading to the Division I level.
|Isaiah AmatoIsaiahAmato6'5" | CGCentral Catholic | 2020StateOR||6’5||PG||Central Catholic||Eastern Washington|
|Evan InglesbyEvanInglesby6'3" | SGBarlow | 2020StateOR||6’3||SG||Barlow||Gonzaga (walk-on)|
|Matthew LevisMatthewLevis5'11" | CGJesuit | 2020StateOR||6’0||PG||Jesuit||Seattle (walk-on)|
|Kaelan O’NeilKaelanO’Neil6'5" | SFChurchill | 2020StateOR||6’4||SG||Churchill||Eastern Washington|
|Dakota ReberDakotaReber6'6" | SFWilsonville | 2020StateOR||6’5||SF||Wilsonville||Incarnate Word|
|Gabe ReichleGabeReichle6'1" | CGWilsonville | 2020StateOR||6’2||PG||Wilsonville||Oregon (walk-on)|
Breakdown: Thanks to some guys deciding to walk-on, the number of Division I players directly out of high school is higher than the past couple of seasons. Only one player signed early – Kaelan O’NeilKaelanO’Neil6'5" | SFChurchill | 2020StateOR with Eastern Washington – while the rest found their opportunities late in the year after the season ended. Isaiah AmatoIsaiahAmato6'5" | CGCentral Catholic | 2020StateOR was the first to decide, joining O’Neil with the Eagles – who had initially offered him very early in high school career. The other scholarship signee was Dakota ReberDakotaReber6'6" | SFWilsonville | 2020StateOR as the former 5A Player of the Year heads to Texas and an up-and-coming Incarnate Word program. All three walk-ons turned down scholarship opportunities to pursue the D-I dream as a walk-on. Evan InglesbyEvanInglesby6'3" | SGBarlow | 2020StateOR has family ties at Gonzaga, Matthew LevisMatthewLevis5'11" | CGJesuit | 2020StateOR found the right fit at Seattle, and Gabe ReichleGabeReichle6'1" | CGWilsonville | 2020StateOR had a whole host of high-academic D-III possibilities but wanted to give the Ducks a shot.
The class may not be finished as a number of players have decided to go the prep school or junior college route. Here are some players who are Oregon high school graduates prior to 2020 who will be making their D-I debuts in 2020-21:
|Alexis Angeles||6’2||SG||Tualatin ’18||Portland State (walk-on)|
|Jalen Brown||6’4||SG||Jefferson ’19||Pacific|
|Robert Ford||6’0||PG||Jefferson ’18||Idaho State|
|Darius Guinn||6’7||SF||Grant ’18||Bryant|
|Chukka Mekkam||5’11||PG||Jesuit ’17||Drexel|
Breakdown: Oregon often has players who head the prep school or JC route before making it to Division I and this year is no exception. However, the numbers are a little smaller than usual but it will be interesting to see if any more walk-ons emerge this year as they often do in the Pac-12 and West Coast Conferences in particular.
The player with perhaps the most traveled road to Division I from this year’s newcomers is undoubtedly Chuka Mekkam who graduated from Jesuit back in 2017. From high school he went the prep school route at Bridgton Academy in Maine and from there, he went to Vincennes – where he picked up a ring as they captured the NJCAA national championship his freshman season. After a solid sophomore season where he started at the point, Drexel came with the opportunity to finally make the jump to D-I.
Two other JC transfers moving on are Jefferson alumni. Robert Ford was a part of the Demo’s 2017 run to the 6A title and put up some pinball numbers at Clackamas CC these past two seasons. He became the most highly-recruited player out of the NWAC and Idaho State won out for his services for the next two seasons. Jalen Brown just missed out on Jeff’s title having transferred in for the 2017-18 season and went to Eastern Arizona after graduating in 2019. After a standout freshman season, Brown started receiving D-I offers as a full academic qualifier so he will have three years of eligibility remaining at Pacific.
Darius Guinn was a key starter for Grant’s 2018 6A title team and has put up good numbers at Central Wyoming the past two years. Bryant came calling with an offer that he couldn’t refuse and he’s now headed to the East Coast. And former 6A All-State First Team honoree Alexis Angeles will be staying close to home. After playing as a freshman at Division II St. Martin’s, the high-scoring guard spent his sophomore season at Lower Columbia. He’ll be walking on for the Vikings.
Note: Also moving on to the D-I ranks from junior college is Elijah Gonzales (2017 Clackamas) from Clarendon College in Texas, who will be at Louisiana-Monroe this season. He’s a “bounceback” having gone to St. Peter’s directly out of high school before heading to Clarendon after a redshirt season at Western Oregon.