Francis, Small Sign to Play Collegiately at Green Bay
GREEN BAY, Wis. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) – Daeshon Francis (Indianapolis, Ind.) and Khalil Small (Chicago, Ill.) signed National Letters of Intent on Wednesday to play their collegiate basketball for the Green Bay men’s basketball program, head coach Brian Wardle announced. The two guards will join the program beginning with the 2014-15 season.
“I am extremely excited to add both Daeshon Francis and Khalil Small to our program,” Wardle said. “They are good fits for our locker room, they are humble young men that are unselfish and team first individuals that want to win. They also fit into our program identity as players. They are talented perimeter players that really compete, defend, and rebound. Daeshon and Khalil bring explosive intangibles that you can’t teach and will help continue to build on our strong foundation.
“Both are hungry guys that want to be in Green Bay and have room to improve, so their best days of basketball are ahead of them. They have chips on their shoulders and have something to prove, and we have had great success with developing players with these qualities. Both of these guys have played for coaches that our proven winners. Daeshon and Khalil will be high-character student-athletes at our institution and both are excited about what they can bring to Green Bay on and off the floor.”
Francis is a 6-foot-3, 170-pound combo guard that currently attends Lawrence North High School in Indianapolis. Set to start his senior campaign with the historic Indiana high school basketball program on Dec. 4, Francis averaged 13 points per game a season ago as a junior while helping his team to a 17-6 record. Under head coach Jack Keefer, Lawrence North has produced NBA players Mike Conley, Eric Montross and Greg Oden.
“Being in Green Bay during my visit, it was a family environment like I am used to,” Francis said. “My Dad really enjoyed it, and when we got home we talked about it and Green Bay was a place where I could see myself. I really liked Coach Wardle and all the players and coaches, and I felt like we all clicked.”
A native of Chicago, Ill., Small is a 6-foot-2, 205-pound guard that currently attends Victory Rock Prep in Florida, where he is averaging 21 points, four rebounds and four assists this season. Small graduated from Providence-St. Mel High School in Chicago, where as a senior in 2012-13 he averaged 18 points per game and helped his team to a 25-6 record.
“I’m really excited to get to Green Bay,” Small said. “On the visit, it really felt like a place that I would fit in and play well. I am grateful for the opportunity, and signing just made me even more excited and ready to get there. When I was on my visit, there was a family feel and you could tell it was really a sports town. I know there will be a lot of support and I will be comfortable in Green Bay.”
Hometown: Indianapolis, Ind.
High School: Lawrence North
AAU Team: Spiece Indy Fire
- Averaged 13 points per game as a junior at Lawrence North High School
- Led Spiece Indy Fire to the championship at the adidas Invitational in Indianapolis last
- Named MVP of the adidas Invitational after scoring 18 points in the championship game
: “Daeshon has a lot of things you can’t teach with his explosiveness off the dribble and off the floor. He has great length and is a competitor with a high motor. He has played big in big games throughout his career.”
Daeshon Francis: “I am a lockdown defensive player that can change the tempo of the game by the defense that I play. I can score the ball in a variety of ways, whether it is posting up a smaller guard, driving off the dribble or shooting.”
Jack Keefer, Lawrence North Head Coach: “He is a great young man with unbelievable motor skills. He plays at such a high rate of speed and that rubs off on our team. Our team is known throughout the state as a no prisoners taken type of a team. We are pressing and running the floor, and we go as Daeshon goes. He plays with unbelievable energy.”
LaSalle Thompson, Spiece Indy Fire Head Coach: “I’m extremely proud of Daeshon and happy for him and his family. It has been a long journey for him to get to this point but there is no other kid across the country that deserves it more. His strength as a player right now is in his heart and his ability to outwork any and everyone on the court. That is something that will definitely transition to the next level and will fit in well to Green Bay’s program. Daeshon will continue to develop his skillset and that will make him that much better of a Division I basketball player. He is an extremely hard worker and a superior athlete.”
Kyle Neddenriep, Indianapolis Star: “Daeshon is an all-out effort player who makes plays defensively and can turn them into transition points going the other way. He’s arguably the best finisher in the state’s senior class, known for his emphatic dunks and he’s also a strong rebounder as a guard. Daeshon has always played with a chip on his shoulder because he hasn’t been the most talked about or highly-ranked player. That mentality has served him well. He knows how to win.”
Hometown: Chicago, Ill.
High School: Providence St. Mel
Current School: Victory Rock Prep (Fla.)
- Averaging 21 points, four rebounds and four assists this season for Victory Rock Prep
- Helped Providence St. Mel to a 25-6 record as a senior
- Averaged 18 points per game during his senior year of high school
- Illinois Basketball Coaches Association first-team all-state as a junior and senior
- Chicago Prep Conference Most Valuable Player as a junior and a senior
: “Khalil Small is a powerful and physical perimeter player. He brings a lot of intangibles to the program. He is a tough hard-nose defender, a very good rebounder, and backs down to no one. He can also score in a variety of ways and is very versatile.”
Khalil Small: “I have athleticism but can be a real team player. I have defensive intensity on the court and can also score. On my team right now I am one of the leading scorers, but I can do whatever Coach Wardle asks me to do for the team. I can bring a few highlights to the games, but I just want to help the team win.”
Loren Jackson, Victory Rock Prep Head Coach: “I think it is an unbelievable opportunity both for Green Bay and Khalil. He is definitely going to add athleticism and toughness along with skill to the Green Bay program. Brian has really made some strides with Green Bay, and I think he got a really good one in Khalil and I think he got a sleeper. He makes shots, is explosive and is a big-time athlete. He can really guard the basketball 1-on-1, and he puts the ball in the basket.”
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