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Grizzlies sign power forward from Australia

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Grizzly Basketball Head Coach Jared Phay today announced the signing of Merrick Small to the Missouri State University-West Plains (MSU-WP) squad for the 2021-2022 season.

Small is a 6-foot, 9-inch power forward from Queensland, Australia.

“Merrick is a skilled big man who adds size to our roster, but he also can shoot the ball well, which will fit our style of play,” Phay said.

Small recently graduated from St. Thomas Prep in Ipswich, Queensland, where he starred in both basketball and volleyball.

Small is considered one of the best under 20 prospects in Australia, Phay said.

“We are excited to get Merrick here. He will be good for us,” the coach said.

The roster for the Grizzlies upcoming season is shaping up well with returning All-Region 16 selections Martaveon Jones, a 6-foot, 2-inch point guard from Kansas City, and James “Scooter” Williams, a 6-foot, 5-inch guard from Clarksville, Tennessee, Phay said.

Joining them will be returners, Sebian Dillard, a 6-foot, 3-inch guard from Lexington, Kentucky, who came on late for the Grizzlies last season; Ugo Eze, 6-foot, 8-inch forward from Kaduna, Nigeria; Mo Kora, 6-foot, 7-inch guard from Renton, Washington; Isaiah Wilson, a 6-foot, 1-inch point guard from Phoenix, Arizona; and area product Reese Dodson, a 6-foot, 2-inch guard from Salem.

Phay said a few other current Grizzlies are weighing their options but are likely to return.

“It has been a weird recruiting year with everyone getting a waiver, so we need to be patient,” the coach said. “But at the same time, we are excited to have a good group returning. Experience goes a long way in junior college.”

Phay also said he is very close to signing a few other recruits, so more signing announcements can be expected soon.

For more information about the Grizzly Basketball program, visit www.msuwpgrizzlies.com or call 417-255-7991.

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