June 23, 2011
Rice University basketball coach Ben Braun announced on Thursday the Owls have signed Wilsonville, Ore., forward Seth Gearhart to a Grant-in-Aid to play for the Owls.
Gearhart, who graduated from Wilsonville High School earlier this month, averaged 18.1 points, 8.1 rebounds and 1.8 assists en route to being named Class 5A Oregon All-State First-Team as a senior. The 6-7 forward was unanimously selected the Northwest Oregon Conference Player of the Year and also named to the Class 5A All-Tournament team.
"We are pleased to sign Seth and have him join our program," said Rice basketball coach Ben Braun. "Seth is a winner and a leader, having competed for multiple state championships. He comes from a very good high school program. He has a great understanding of the game. While Seth has proven he can score, he is an unselfish player who will make his teammates better."
Playing for high school coach Chris Roche, Gearhart shot 54 percent from the field and was an 81-percent shooter at the free throw line during his senior season. Wilsonville shared the NWOC title this spring and advanced to the state semifinals. The Wildcats lost to No. 2 ranked Corvallis on a last-second shot, 59-56, but rebounded the next day to beat No. 1 Bend 58-42 to cap a 25-4 season.
This spring, Gearhart played in the Northwest Shootout All-Star Game which pitted the best players from the state of Oregon against the best players from Washington.
Wilsonville was 97-16 during Gearhart's four-year career. In his three seasons as a starter, the Wildcats won three consecutive NWOC championships, made three trips to the state tournament, and finished third, fourth and third, respectively, at the state tournament.
Along the way, Gearhart became Wilsonville's all-time leader in rebounding (503), single game scoring (33), single game field goals made (15), single game field goal percentage (11-for-11) and career free throws made (292).
Gearhart ranks second all-time in scoring at Wilsonville with 1,286 points. He also finished his career ranked fourth in career steals (142), second in career field goals made (490), third in career field goal percentage (.549) and second in free throw percentage (.766).
As a junior, Gearhart was a first-team All-Northwest Oregon Conference selection as well as a second-team all-state pick.
Gearhart also played first base and pitched for a Wilsonville team which advanced to the finals of the Oregon Class 5A state championship. The Wildcats posted a 23-7 overall record and were conference champions in 2011.
Gearhart is the second student-athlete to ink with Rice during the spring signing period. Last month 6-7 guard Ahmad Ibrahim, a native of Lebanon Ibrahim, a native of Lebanon who played his senior high school season at Humble Christian Life Academy, signed a National Letter of Intent to play for the Owls.
During last fall's early signing period the Owls signed combo guard Julian DeBose (6-4, 190) out of St. John College High in Washington, D.C., point guard Dylan Ennis (6-2, 175) out of Chicago Lake Forest Academy and wing player Jarelle Reischel (6-6, 208) who played at Point Pleasant Beach High School in New Jersey.