HUNTSVILLE – Head coach Jason Hooten and the Sam Houston State men’s basketball team made another addition to their squad earlier this week, signing Hutchinson Community College’s Kai Mitchell for the upcoming 2018-19 season.
Hooten’s Bearkats have won at least 20 games in four of the last five seasons and are coming off a 21-15 campaign in 2017-18, advancing to both the semifinals of the Southland Conference Tournament and the postseason CIT.
Kai Mitchell • F • 6-7 • 245 • Haverstraw, N.Y. • Spring Valley HS / Hutchinson CC
Mitchell originally signed with Iona after a year at St. Thomas More prep school in Connecticut, but spent the past two seasons at Hutchinson CC where he helped lead his team to a 61-12 record and the 2017 NJCAA national title.
“We’re excited to have Kai on board,” Hooten said. “We felt his strength, toughness and skill at the power forward position is something we have been missing. Kai can be another versatile player that helps us in a lot of different ways next season.”
This year he helped the Blue Dragons claim a No. 11 seed in the NJCAA Tournament, advancing to the Sweet 16 with Mitchell averaging 6.2 points and a team-high 6.5 rebounds per game. He also added 2.7 assists, a team-best 1.3 blocks and 1.2 steals per game to his line. He was a force in helping Hutch claim a league title last year, turning in his best game against Independence CC when he had 17 points and 17 rebounds in an 80-63 win.
He battled through an ankle injury for most of the season, but still missed just one of 36 games, starting in 26. That came after a freshman season that saw him average 8.1 points and 5.5 rebounds on Hutch’s run to an NJCAA title.
Mitchell played his high school basketball at Spring Valley HS in New York under head coach Willie Worsley, a former guard on the 1966 Texas Western NCAA championship team.