EUGENE, Ore. – University of Oregon men’s basketball coach Ernie Kent has announced the signing of E.J. Singler to a national letter of intent. Singler, a 6-6, 200-pound forward from South Medford High School in Medford, Ore., will begin playing for the Ducks in the fall of 2009.
“We’ve watched E.J. for the last three years now, and have really seen him blossom and come into his own as a leader,” Kent said. “He is one of the top players in the state and certainly someone who has the character and background – in terms of coaching – to be an outstanding player at this level.”
Singler, who is a senior at SMHS, averaged 20.2 points, 10.8 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game in his junior campaign. He was a first team all-conference and second team all-state selection a year ago. He led the Panthers to a sixth-place finish at the OSAA Class 6A state tournament, where he earned first team all-tournament recognition.
As a sophomore, Singler was a starter on the 2006-07 South Medford squad which won the OSAA Class 6A state title over Lake Oswego. He came off the bench as a freshman to help lead the Panthers to what would be the first of three consecutive state tournament appearances.
“I wanted to play in the Pac-10 and stay close to home,” Singler said about the decision to choose Oregon. “The guys on the team were all very welcoming, I really connected with them. I just felt comfortable when I came up there on my visit.”
Kent and the Oregon coaching staff also played a vital role in the decision. “I really liked the diversity of the coaching staff. They all contributed something unique and different to the team,” Singler said. “Coach Kent was honest with me about my role with the team, how I would have to work for it.”
Kent feels that Singler can make a successful jump from the prep game to the NCAA Division I level. “With our system we look at skill level. The ability to pass and shoot and dribble, and to think the game and understand basketball decision-making,” Kent said. “He is a very sound player in those areas.”
Dennis Murphy, the head basketball coach at SMHS, thinks that Singler has the attributes to transition to the next level. “E.J. has spent his whole life working toward playing at a Division I school,” Murphy said. “He recognizes where he needs to improve as a player. He is very coachable, he has a great work ethic and he loves the game.”
“Oregon has all of the tools to make me better,” Singler said. “I am going to take advantage of the coaches and facilities. The great surroundings (at Oregon) will help me to improve as a player and as a student.”
Kent stressed the importance of looking in-state on the recruiting trail, “We feel like there is a caliber of player in this state that can make us successful.” The Ducks have four in-state players on the 2008-09 roster: junior Ben Voogd from Florence, Ore., redshirt freshman John Elorriaga from Portland, Ore., and true freshmen Garrett Sim from Portland, Ore., and Drew Wiley of McKenzie River, Ore.
“The players in our program, from the state of Oregon, will all have an opportunity to be successful,” Kent said.
Singler is also an accomplished football player, earning first team All-Southwest Conference recognition at both tight end and outside linebacker for the Panthers this season. He helped lead SMHS to an 8-1 record in regular-season play and currently has his team in the OSAA Class 6A playoffs.
Singler comes from a family rich with athletic tradition. His father, Ed, played quarterback at Oregon State from 1978-82. His mother, Kris (formerly Brosterhous), played basketball at OSU from 1973-76, while his older brother Kyle is a sophomore standout for the Duke University men’s basketball team.
In addition to the immediate family, Singler has three uncles that were student-athletes at the University of Oregon. Rick Brosterhous was a basketball player from 1967-71, Greg Brosterhous played football and baseball from 1968-72 and John Brosterhous played football from 1977-81. Another uncle, B.G. Brosterhous, played basketball at the University of Texas from 1969-73, before going on to a lengthy professional career in Europe.