MT. PLEASANT, UT (ABC4 News) A Utah high school basketball team is headed to the national championship tournament.
The Wasatch Academy Tigers, who went 26-3 this season, will play their first game in the Geico Nationals on April 4th.
Wasatch Academy is a small private boarding school with just 340 students. However, over the last few years, the basketball program has become a magnet for elite college-bound players. Freshman Jaxson Kohler, is excited to play in the national tournament.
“At first it didn’t really hit me how big that is, but then thinking about it more and more – it’s huge.” The 15-year-old says he called his dad in American Fork right after he learned about the invite.
Junior Richie Saunders says the invitation to the championship is just the team’s hard work paying off.
“We’ve worked so hard since August – five or six months straight every day.” Now the 17-year-old from Riverton says it’s time to go win the tournament. “Its an honor to be in this, but we are going to keep going.”
Coach Dave Evans has the same attitude about the championship invite. “Were stoked. We’re so grateful to be invited. That’s done to me. That’s old news now. Let’s go win this thing.”
Evans left the head coach job at Lone Peak High School and took over the private school basketball program this year. While this team is filled with D1 college-bound players he says they play team ball and they want to win the team championship.
“I don’t want a banner in the gym that says we went to the Geico tournament. I want a banner that comes home that says we won a national tournament.”
The Wasatch Academy basketball team is loaded with talent. In fact, 80 division one college coaches visited the school to scout players this past season. And this year the team includes players from the Netherlands, Mali, Brazil, Texas, Indiana and Utah. https://www.gowasatch.com/varsity-roster
Wasatch Academy was established in 1875 in Mt. Pleasant. In addition to its elite basketball program, it is also known for its music, art, math and English language programs. https://www.wasatchacademy.org