OTTUMWA – Growing up in Kansas City, Tyon Grant-Foster became well versed in four of college basketball’s most famous words.
“Rock chalk, Jayhawk, KU.”
Grant-Foster made it official on Wednesday, signing his letter of intent with the University of Kansas. The sophomore star of the fourth-ranked Warrior men’s basketball was one of five IHCC student athletes to sign with a four-year program, officially making a dream come true as Grant-Foster will hope to hear the refrains of Rock Chalk echoing throughout Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence while on the court for the Jayhawks starting next season.
“Being a Jayhawk, being from Kansas City, is a dream come true as a little kid,” Grant-Foster said. “That’s your team. That’s who watch every single day, every game.
“Right now, it still feels pretty surreal. It’s the best feeling ever.”
Grant-Foster joined IHCC basketball teammate Samba Kane, who has yet to step on the floor this season for the Warriors. The native of Dakar, Senegal and sophomore transfer from the University of Illinois will play next season at the University of San Francisco.
“When you come to Indian Hills, this is not the final stop on the college careers for these young men and women,” Indian Hills head men’s basketball coach Hank Plona said. “We try to find the places that feel the most comfortable for everybody. Tyon played very well in the spring and the summer, got himself highly recruited and decided a month ago to go to Kansas.
“In Samba’s situation, I think he was strongly leaning towards going to San Francisco from the moment he got here. He knows the coaches well. There’s a level of comfort there. He decided for sure 100 percent that’s where he wants to go and we support that 100 percent.”
Iva Vranic signed her letter of intent to play volleyball next season at St. Francis University in Brooklyn, New York. The 4.0 sophomore played a key role in helping the Warrior volleyball team to a current record of 35-3, a share of the regular-season Region XI title and the Midwest B district tournament title that has earned IHCC a trip to next week’s NJCAA Division I national volleyball tournament.
“I was wondering if I should wait until after the national tournament, but I already visited the school,” Vranic said. “I liked the coach. I liked the team there. They have my major. It’s New York. It’s a little closer to my home with just one flight needed (to get to Belgrade, Serbia).
“I’m glad I made my decision. It’s going to be a great place for me to be over the next two years.”
The Indian Hills baseball program was represented on Wednesday by sophomore Nathan Chasey, who will be heading to Valparaiso University. While the native of Ames and graduate of Gilbert High School spent most of his time at the plate and in the field for the Falcons last season, it was a limited amount of time on the mound would actually draw the interest of the Crusaders.
“I think he pitched in just eight (of 51) games, but that was enough for Valparaiso. They liked what they saw out of him,” IHCC athletic director Brett Monaghan said. “One of the hardest things for a position player to do is put the bat down and not hit anymore. Nathan tells me he still gets up to the multipurpose center (in Centerville) and tries to get some hitting in, but he’s earned a Division I scholarship with the intent from the school of having him strictly pitch.”
Harry Doig signed a letter of intent Wednesday to attend Cal State Fullerton next year. The native of Sydney, Australia had the low scoring average for the Warriors this fall and during his spring season as a freshman.
In the just-completed fall season, Doig’s scoring average was 71.7. Among the accomplishments this fall for Doig includes the individual medalist title at the Warrior Challenge, a tie for first place in the Tabor College Fall Invite and a tie for third in the Flyer Intercollegiate.
As a freshman, Doig was a semifinalist for the Jack Nicklaus Award, was named to the All-Freshman Team and the PING All-District Team and was an Honorable Mention All-American. Doig’s freshman spring season included a scoring average of 71.6, best on the team, a -first-place at the Tyler Junior College Spring Invitational and at least one under-par round in all six tourneys the Warriors played. Doig’s scoring average was 72.0 in the fall of his freshman campaign.
“I’m very excited for Harry and his commitment to Cal State Fullerton,” said IHCC head golf coach John Mulholland. “He’s done everything he can since arriving here and now has a great opportunity to get to the next step in his golfing career. Harry’s hard work in the classroom and his awesome play on the course have allowed him to get to where he wanted to go. He’s set the example, even as a freshman, to allow his teammates to get recognized by other big schools. California is ideal for golf (weather and facilities) and he’ll be playing against some talented competition in the Big West Conference.
“I wish the best for Harry and, as always, I’ll be watching and here to help him at any point in his career.”