Cougars sign more height for mens’ basketball
     2013-08-08      By The Gering Citizen   
SCOTTSBLUFF —  Western Nebraska Community College men's basketball coach Russ Beck added 6-foot-5 Jordan Darger with a letter of intent on Friday. Darger comes to WNCC from Orem High School out of Orem, Utah. Beck said Darger has the potential to be a key player this year.

"He was a very successful athlete during his high school days at Orem High, winning a state championship his junior year and (he) was the 4A favorite during his senior year before an injury," Beck said. "He is fully recovered from his injury and we are really looking forward to what he can do here for us at Western Nebraska. He is a high character kid. a great athlete and we think he will have an high impact for us on the floor."

Darger, who averaged 15 points a game for Orem, is exited for the opportunity to play college basketball. "I have always dreamed about coming to college and getting a good opportunity and a good education," he said. "I have been going around the campus and checking it out and it made it better for me to see what I will be coming to. I really liked it here when I took a tour."

Darger is also hoping to follow in his older brother's footsteps in playing Division I basketball. His older brother, Joe, played for UNLV from 2005-2009. Darger's other brother, Jason, played at the College of Eastern Utah.

Beck said that he feels fortunate to land someone as talented as Darger because he was heavily recruited before his shoulder injury which affected his recruitment a little bit.

“Things happen for a reason and we feel it is a blessing in disguise that maybe it occurred. We are certainly excited to get him and I think his best basketball is ahead of him,” said Beck.

Darger, the youngest of seven siblings, said the shoulder injury that sidelined him for the last half of his senior season, is completely healed.

"I feel completely ready to go," he said. "I was supposed to get surgery on my arm after it, but the doctor said that if I sit out for three or four months I would have a good chance of it recovering. I decided to go that route and it worked out best."

Darger is the eighth Utahn to sign with WNCC. Others inlcude Mountain Crest's Tyler Crosbie, Northridge's Preston Christensen, Syracuse's Diante Mitchell, Bingham's Brandon Morley, South Sevier's Austin Clark, Cedar's Joel Einfeldt and Timpanogos' Tanner Lebaron.

"I know most of the kids that will be coming," Darger said. "I know the Utah kids are high quality and have good characteristics, so we should get along good on and off the court."

Beck said he is excited about this year's team. "The kids have been texting me and they are very excited to get here and get to work. A lot of them have seen each other play and they all have really good basketball pedigrees," he said. "Most of them came from winning teams and I think our chemistry will be a lot better and we will be really competitive. In junior college you can win a lot of games with high-character guys that will work hard every day and the right things on and off the floor. I think that is what we have.

"We got back to our blueprint to what we had a lot of success with. I feel like we got everybody that we wanted. We didn't swing and miss on any kid that we targeted this season There are a lot of junior colleges that are unhappy that we signed all the kids that we did, but we got them all."

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