Bluejays sign five players for men’s hoops

Five players have recently signed letters of intent to play men’s basketball at Tabor College next season.

n The Bluejays added size, speed and strength to its roster Monday night by signing Hesston High School standout Brad Gattis.

Gattis, a 6-4, 200-pounder, led the Swathers to a 13-9 record overall and an MCAA league championship during the 2001-02 season.

Tabor coach Don Brubacher said Gattis’ contribution to the team will be felt immediatley.

“Brad is an outstanding addition to the Tabor basketball program,” Brubacher said. “He is a strong rebounder and defender. I especially appreciate the intelligence he shows out on the court. That combined with his athleticism make him an excellent player. We’re excited about working with him for the next four years.”

Gattis was a unanimous pick for All-MCAA team, a Class 3A first-team all-stater and was recognized by the Wichita-Eagle as an all-state honorable mention.

n Colby Bettles, a 6-6, 205-pound center, led Herington High School to a 34-30 record over the past four seasons. He was selected as an All-Cottonwood Valley League first-team player the past two seasons and was picked for the Flint Hills Shootout All-Tournament team.

Bettles participated in the Central Kansas All-Star game and the Flint Hills Optimist Club All-Star game, where he was named the game’s “Most Valuable Player.”

The future Bluejay also excels in the classroom. He was on the Herington honor roll for four years and a National Honors Society member.

Brubacher said Bettles has all the physical tools to be an outstanding player at the KCAC level.

“We’re also thrilled about his attitude and his desire to improve his game,” Brubacher said. “Colby is a great addition to our program and we look forward to having him in our program.”

n Caleb Rector, a 6-5 guard from Harrisonville, Mo., was home-schooled and was a MCSAA all-state team member, a Missouri-Kansas All-Conference team member for three years, and a Missouri-Kansas All-Tournament team member for three years.

“He’s a great kid,” Brubacher said. “He has a very strong Christian demeanor, the kind of person that we’re thrilled to bring into the program. Caleb is a good athlete at 6-5, and we look forward to helping him expand his game.”

n Jared Reese, a 6-3, 195-pound guard, led his Blackwell (Okla.) High School team to a 17-7 record, a district championship and and eighth-place finish in the final state rankings.

Over his career, Reese was awarded several honors, including “Offensive Player-of-the-Year” for the past two seasons, all-state honorable mention for two years, Tulsa World’s all-state second team, OCA all-star selection and the Wheat Capital Tournament all-tournament team.

Reese has been on the Blackwell High School honor roll for the past four years and was a member of the Boys’ State delegation.

Brubacher said Reese is an all-purpose player.

“Jared comes to us as a very versatile player,” Brubacher said. “He’s effective offensively and defensively in the post, but is also an excellent perimeter shooter. Jared will be a very strong shooting guard and forward for us. He is a quality addition to our program and a great kid.”

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