July 8, 2008

Jones Announces Class of 2012

July 8, 2008

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - James Jones, The Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of Men's Basketball at Yale, will welcome four players to New Haven this year. The Class of 2012 features two players from California, one from New York and one from Connecticut.

Here is a closer look at the incoming freshman class:

Rhett Anderson • F • 6-8 • 215 • La Canada Flintridge, Calif. • La Canada HS

2006 graduate of La Canada High School... Currently finishing a two-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Porto Alegre, Brazil... Played three years of varsity basketball at La Canada... Averaged 17.8 points and 9.6 rebounds as a senior... Blocked 50 shots... Shot 64.0 percent from the field... Named first team Division III-AA.

Quoting Coach Jones: "Rhett comes to us after having a very unique experience in Brazil. His maturity level and dedication to the game of basketball will help enable him to excel as a freshman."

Brian Katz • G • 6-4 • 190 • Woodbury, N.Y. • St. Dominic

Long Island Catholic League Player of the Year as a senior at St. Dominic High School... Set the school record for three-point field goals made in his senior year... 2008 McDonald's All-America nominee... Named All State Class AA by the New York State Sportswriters Association... Two-time All-Nassau County selection... Named first team All-Long Island Catholic League in 2007 and 2008... Second team All-Long Island as a senior... Two-time team MVP... Represented Long Island/Hudson Valley in the 2007 Metro Classic All Star game against New York City... MVP of Long Island Catholic League championship game as a junior... Averaged 21.0 points as a senior and 15 points as a junior... Helped lead St. Dominic to the 2007 Long Island Catholic League Class AA championship with a 20-6 record... Played for the Long Island Lightning and Rising Stars AAU programs... Valedictorian of St. Dominic in 2008.

"I selected Yale because it has always been a goal of mine to be a student-athlete at a college with a rich and stimulating academic culture, a strong basketball tradition and an active campus social life. Attending Yale is a dream come true for me."

Quoting Coach Jones: "Brian had a tremendous high school career where he accomplished just about all of his goals. He is a proven three-point shooter who will help fill the void created by our out-going senior class."

Greg Mangano • F • 6-10 • 240 • Orange, Conn. • Notre Dame West Haven

Two-time all-state selection at nearby Notre Dame West Haven High School... Averaged 26 points, 15 rebounds and six blocked shots as a senior... Nominated for the McDonald's All-American game... Named league most valuable player as a senior... Two-time all-league selection... Selected All-Area MVP as both a junior and senior... Scored 14 points in the Connecticut High School Coaches Association All-Star Festival... Helped lead Notre Dame to the quarterfinals of the state tournament... Played for the Connecticut Basketball Club AAU team, which won the Division I Showcase in Florida.

"When the opportunity to attend Yale presents itself, there is no reason why it should be turned down. It's incomparable to any other school."

Quoting Coach Jones: "Greg is probably the highest recruited athlete we have in this class. His ability to rebound and block shots is complemented by his great hands and soft touch from outside."

Reggie Willhite • G/F • 6-4 • 194 • Elk Grove, Calif. • Phillips Exeter

Spent a year as a postgraduate at Phillips Exeter Academy... Helped the team set a school record for most wins in a season... Team lost to St. Thomas More, the seventh-ranked prep school in the nation, in the first round of the New England Class A Tournament... Starred at Woodside Priory School in California... Named the Private School Athletic League most valuable player as a senior... First team all-league as a senior... Second team all-league as a junior... Named to All-Palo Alto Daily News first team... Helped lead Woodside Priory to 2006-07 CCS championship... Played for the Bay Area Warriors club team... Jabari Trotter, his teammate at Exeter, will be a freshman at Dartmouth this year.

"When I first visited Yale and sat down with Coach Jones, he pointed out something very important to me. He said that no matter where I go, I will never receive a better education than the one that Yale has to offer. That really hit home for me. If you combine that with the respect I developed for the coaching staff and the atmosphere I experienced during my visits, the choice was easy."

Quoting Coach Jones: "Reggie is a tremendous athlete who is extremely versatile. He is coming off an injury to his back last season but has made a full recovery and is enthusiastic about his return to the hardwood. We share in his enthusiasm."

Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity

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