East Central University Head Men’s Basketball Coach Ja Havens announced the signing of two student-athletes for the 2014-15 season on Signing Day, Wednesday, April 16. The Tigers are adding Jacob Essman and Robert Johnson as freshman to next year’s squad.
2014-15 Signing Class
Jacob Essman, 6-6, 200, F, Edmond, Okla. (Memorial)
Robert Johnson, 6-5, 185, F, Richardson, Texas (Berkner)
Essman has spent the last three seasons on the varsity team at Memorial High School in Edmond and has helped the team to a tradition of postseason success. The Bulldogs claimed MidState Conference and regional titles the past three seasons, while also finishing as 6A Oklahoma State runners-up in 2012 and 6A State Champions in 2013.
“Jacob has played for a highly successful high school program at Edmond Memorial and understands what it takes to compete at a high level,” said Havens. “In addition to his high basketball IQ, Jacob is versatile and fits our offensive system well.”
As a senior Essman averaged 7.7 points, 5.2 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game, while shooting 49 percent from the floor. He was rewarded for his efforts on the court with MidState Conference Honorable Mention honors. Essman is also a standout in the class room, earning a spot on the honor roll as four years in high school.
“Jacob possesses the qualities that we value in our program, and he is a winner on and off the court,” Havens added. “We are excited to have him join the Tiger basketball program and expect great things during his time here.”
Johnson has spent the last two seasons on the varsity squad at Richardson Berkner High School in Richardson, Texas. He helped the Rams to two regional and district titles. The team also finished in the semifinals of the state tournament as a junior and the sweet 16 as a senior.
“Robert is an extremely athletic young man that is coming to ECU from a very good high school program,” commented Havens. “He works hard on both ends of the court and really impacts the game with his exceptional effort, his capacity to defend multiple positions and his ability to rebound the ball.”
Johnson earned All-District First Team honors as a senior after averaging nine pints, 11 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game. He also tallied 13 double-doubles during his final prep campaign. Johnson is also a strong student, earning a spot on the honor roll for four years and also being a member of the Key Club and National Honor Society.
“RJ has a bright basketball future and we are thrilled he has decided to join the Tiger family,” Havens said.