MARQUETTE, Mi. The Northern Michigan University Men's Basketball team has signed a total of five players who will join the team for the 2019-2020 season. Four players join the squad from Wisconsin while one signed this past fall and is from the Upper Peninsula.
"We are thrilled to welcome these five young men to the Northern Michigan basketball program," said Head Men's Basketball Coach, Matt Majkrzak. "They are all tremendous student-athletes that come from great families. We are as excited about what they will accomplish in the classroom and community as we are on the floor. The biggest thing that stands out about them is they are winners. Although three graduated as the all-time leading scorers at their schools, their unselfishness and commitment to the team is what separates these five from the competition. They play with a toughness and a chip on their shoulder that Wildcat Nation will appreciate. We can't wait to get them to campus and start working with them.
Xzavier Jones is 6'5, 190 lb. from Martin Luther High School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Jones averaged 12 points and eight rebounds for Martin Luther High and was the #2 ranked player in Wisconsin by ESPN and the #3 ranked player in Wisconsin from 247 Hoops.
Coach Majkrzak: "Xzavier's talent and athleticism speak for themselves. However, what really stands out is his unselfishness and ability to do the little things, which is a major reason he lead his team to a state championship."
A.J. Makinen from Muskego, Wisconsin averaged 15 points and five assists per game for Muskego High School. He was a three-time First Team All-Conference selection and graduated as the school's All-Time Leading Scorer. A two-sport athlete, Makinen helped guide the school's football team to a State Championships as the team's quarterback.
Coach Majkrzak: "AJ is a phenomenal shooter and has had lots of success against high level competition. He is a proven winner not just making it to state in basketball, but winning the state championship as a quarterback in the top division of Wisconsin high school sports."
From Hustisford High School in Hustisford, Wisconsin, Justin Kuehl joins the Wildcats after averaging 26 points, seven rebounds and four assists per game last season. A three-time conference Player of the Year, he guided the team to a 23-3 record his season year and graduates as the school's all-time leading scorer with 2,136 points.
Coach Majkrzak: "Justin scored over 2000 points in his high school career, but what really stands out to me is the toughness and competitive edge he plays with. Every time he laces it up you know you're going to get maximum effort and a fierce desire to win."
Noah Parcher averaged 12 points per game, five rebounds and seven assists and is from Lacrosse, Wisconsin. While playing for La Crosse Central High School, Parcher was a four-time Conference Champion and earned First-Team All-Conference twice. During his career, he helped the team qualify for four state tournaments and guided the team to a State Championship in 2017.
Coach Majkrzak: "Noah comes from one of the elite HS programs in the state of Wisconsin, and graduates as the all-time winningest player. He is a pure point guard that can not only score, but makes everyone else around him better."
Reece Castor from Gladstone, Michigan signed with the Wildcats earlier this year. Castor leaves Gladstone as the school's All-Time Leading Scorer, breaking former NMU player Doug Ingalls' record. A two-time conference Player of the Year and three-time All-U.P. First Team selection, Castor averaged 21 points, seven rebounds and four assists per game.
Coach Majkrzak: "Reece is a long and athletic scoring guard that is a perfect fit for what we do offensively and defensively. We are thrilled that Reece, as one of the top players in the U.P., decided to stay home to continue in a long line of local standouts at NMU."
The Wildcats will begin the season in November by taking part in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference/Great Lakes Valley Conference Challenge. NMU will look to build on their back-to-back winning seasons but must replace the GLIAC's top two scorers from last year.