Men's Basketball Signs Three
April 12, 2001
EUGENE -- Oregon men's basketball head coach Ernie Kent announced Thursday that Ian Crosswhite, Brian Helquist and Robert Johnson have signed national letters of intent to play for the Ducks next season.
Crosswhite, a 6-11, 225-lbs., forward from Castlecrag, Australia, is a member of the Australian Junior National Team and led the Sydney-based Western Australian U-20 team to the national championship in February. Crosswhite, who graduated from Killarney Heights High School last year, is in the middle of a season playing for the Australian Institute of Sport, an Olympic-level developmental program which is located in Canberra. His AIS coach is long-time Australian Olympic coach Adrian Hurley.
Crosswhite's sister, Anna Crosswhite, will be a sophomore on the University of Virginia's basketball team. His father, Perry Crosswhite, played for the Australian Olympic basketball team and actually played against current Oregon coach Ernie Kent and assistant Greg Graham while on a foreign tour at Mac Court in 1975. His mother, Janice Crosswhite, is a former Australian hurdles champion and is considered to be one of the best female players in Australia's history. Crosswhite will be a freshman this fall.
Helquist, a 6-10, 260-lbs., center from Jacksonville, Fla., will transfer to Oregon from Florida Community College-Jacksonville, where he averaged 14.7 points and 8.8 rebounds per game as a sophomore for coach Greg Gierke. Helquist also shot 60 percent from the field and was named all-Mid-Florida Conference second team. FCC-J went 19-12 this season.
Helquist started his college career at Louisiana State under coach John Brady, where he redshirted the 1998-99 season before transferring to FCC-J. Prior to LSU, Helquist averaged 18 points, 16 rebounds and three blocked shots per game a senior at University Christian High School for coach Bob Graham. He helped lead UC to the 1997-98 district championship and was named to the Jacksonville All-Star team and earned all-First Coast, honorable mention honors. Helquist averaged 11 points and 14 rebounds per game as a junior for a UC team that went 19-12.
He will be a junior this fall.
Johnson, a 6-8, 220-lbs., forward from Sebastopal, Calif., was the runner-up for player of the year honors in the state of California last season. He was named to the all-state and all-Bay Valley Conference first teams after leading Santa Rosa Junior College to a 29-3 record. The 29 wins were an all-time high for SRJC. Johnson averaged 12 points and 14 rebounds per game for the Bear Cubs and coach Craig McMillian.
Johnson prepped at Analy High School in Sebastopal, where he was named all-Sonoma County League first team as a junior. He was selected to play for the Sonoma County All-Stars following his senior season and scored 13 points with 14 rebounds in a win over the Humboldt-Del Norte All-Stars.
Johnson will be a junior this fall.
The three join Matt Short, a 6-11 post from Yreka, Calif., who signed an NLI with the Ducks in the fall. Oregon's 2001 class of big men will help offset the loss of 2000-01 senior front court players Bryan Bracey, Flo Hartenstein and Julius Hicks.