The Mount Vernon Nazarene College men's basketball team has addressed one of its needs for the 2001-2002 season by signing the team's first recruit.
Benji Hall, a 6-foot-2 guard from Mansfield, Ohio, has signed a letter of intent to further his education at MVNC and continue his basketball career with the Cougars. As a senior, Hall led Ontario High School to a 19-1 regular-season record and the North Central Conference title as he averaged 21.0 points, 4.5 rebounds, 4.5 assists, and 2.0 steals per game. The three-time NCC First Team selection was named the NCC, Northwest District, Mansfield News Journal, and District 6 Player of the Year following his senior season while also being named to the All-Ohio First Team in Division III.
"Benji definitely has the opportunity to be an impact player in our program," said MVNC head coach Scott Flemming. "He has developed his skills to the point where he could probably play three different positions. He also has the ability to make big plays when the game is on the line."
"Benji has had great coaching in high school which will better prepare him for the college game," Flemming added. "He was very open and cordial to our coaches and players during the recruiting process. We look forward to him joining us next year."
Hall, who scored over 1,200 points during his three years on the varsity team at Ontario, was nominated to the McDonald's All-American Team. He also played in the Ohio North-South All-Star Game, and he will play in the Ohio-West Virginia All-Star Game. In addition to his achievements on the court, he was also an NCC Honorable Mention All-Academic selection.
"There were several things that helped me choose MVNC," said Hall, who plans to major in either Education or Business. "I like the campus, the basketball coach, and the players. I also appreciated all the support that I received from the players during my senior year."
MVNC is coming off an 18-15 season - the team's fifth straight season with at least 18 wins. The Cougars also finished 10-8 in the highly-competitive American Mideast Conference, and the team advanced to the AMC Tournament Semifinals for the fifth straight year.