July 7, 2006

Men's Basketball Signs Two to National Letters of Intent

July 6, 2006

GREELEY, Colo. - University of Northern Colorado men's basketball coach Tad Boyle announced the signing of two players to national letters of intent on Friday. Tommie Clark (Detroit, Mich./Romulus H.S.) and Chris Kaba (Merrillville, Ind./Andrean H.S.) will each join the Bears basketball program in 2006-07.

The duo joins five other players who signed with the Bears either in the early signing period in November or earlier this spring. Darren Moore (Chino Hills, Calif./Ayala H.S.) signed in November while Devon Beitzel (Lafayette, Colo./Centaurus H.S.), Will Figures (Centennial, Colo./Smoky Hill H.S.), Neal Kingman (Greeley, Colo./Greeley West H.S.) and Jefferson Mason (Crystal, Minn./Robbinsdale Cooper H.S.) each signed with the Bears in May.

"Tommie Clark and Chris Kaba round out what I believe to be a tremendous recruiting class, especially given the timing of taking over this program," said Boyle, who was named the 17th head coach in program history on April 25. "We have addressed needs at all positions but one, and have added tremendous depth as well."

Clark (6'4, 180 lbs., G/F) averaged 16.8 points and 6.5 rebounds per game as a senior at Romulus High School for coach Nate Oats. Clark played only one season at Romulus, transferring there before his senior season from Belleville High School, where he had played for three years. Clark helped his new team to a 62-50 victory over his former team on March 1, a game where he scored 19 points and added 17 rebounds. Romulus' 15-win season eventually ended with a loss in the Class A District Finals. Clark played AAU basketball with Common Bond.

"Tommie comes from a terrific high school program and was well coached," said Boyle. "His ability to score the ball in a variety of ways will allow him to develop into a terrific Division I basketball player. He brings a toughness and confidence with him to the floor, which he has needed to succeed in Detroit high school basketball."

Kaba (6'7, 185 lbs., F) played for coach Mark Horvath at Andrean High School in Indiana. He was a defensive force for Andrean, blocking shots and pulling down rebounds where he played in the frontcourt alongside Luke Harangody, a Notre Dame signee. The 59ers were 19-8 and sectional champions in 2005-06, losing in the 3A state quarterfinals. The team spent most of the season ranked among the top teams in the state, including beginning the season as the No. 1 team in the class. The 59ers also advanced to the state quarterfinals during Kaba's junior season. Kaba played AAU basketball with the SFY Players, helping that squad to an Indiana state championship in 2005

"Chris has an unbelievable combination of size and athleticism," said Boyle. "He will be able to guard any position on the floor and his ability to shoot the ball for a guy his size is encouraging. The sky is the limit for Chris.

"We are elated to have both he and Tommie be a part of this new era of Northern Colorado basketball."

Northern Colorado, who officially became a member of the Big Sky Conference on July 1, will play a full Big Sky schedule in 2006-07.