Jackson, a 6-7, 215-pound power forward from Rancho Santa Margarita, California, captained Santa Margarita Catholic to a 21-9 record. An All-Orange County, All-Trinity League and All-California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) first-team selection, Jackson scored a career-high 34 points in a win over nationally ranked Bishop Gorman (Nev.) and 27 more in a two-point loss to nationally ranked Mater Dei (Calif.). For the season, he averaged 16 points and nine rebounds a game while shooting 57 percent from the floor, helping his squad finish the year second in the Orange County Top 10 poll.
“Adrease is a throw-back, blue-collar worker who has a love for the game and comes to compete each and every day,” McLaughlin said. “He is defined in large part by his work ethic and passion for the game. These qualities will transfer well and provide him opportunities to contribute right away. He will be a great addition to the Big Green.”
A 6-6, 195-pound forward from De Forest, Wisconsin, Knight was a first-team all-state player and the Big Eight Conference Player of the Year this past winter while averaging a double-double (15.8 ppg, 10.7 rpg) and blocking three shots a game for James Madison Memorial. A finalist for Wisconsin's Mr. Basketball, he was one of two seniors in the state to be nominated for the McDonald's All-American Game. Knight helped his team reach the state semifinals in the highest division and finish the year with a 23-3 record, plus earned Academic All-State honors.
“Chris will bring a unique blend of athleticism and length to Hanover,” McLaughlin commented. “He has a great personality, and will be a wonderful addition to our community and program. He has the potential to impact the game at both ends of the floor and will have a chance to contribute right away in the front court. Chris is a worker and willing to put forth the effort needed to continue to realize his potential.”
With Letoa, the Big Green boast a 6-1, 170-pound point guard out of Auckland, New Zealand. A member of the New Zealand National Team (Junior Tall Backs), he will play in the U19 FIBA World Championships in Cairo in July, and last summer competed for Australia in the 2016 Adidas Nations in Los Angeles. Letoa began his prep career at Wellington College before moving to Auckland in 2013 and joining the Westlake Boys' team, which he captained in 2016 and has churned out Division I talents such as Matt Freeman (Oklahoma), Rob Loe (St. Louis), Kirk Penney (Wisconsin), Jack Salt (Virginia) and Tai Webster (Nebraska).
McLaughlin had this to say about Letoa: “Isaac possesses a combination of a love for the game, a winning and competitive approach when on the court, a high basketball acumen, and a work ethic where he truly wants to get better each day. He is a young man of very high character who we feel will have an immediate impact on our team and within the Dartmouth community.”
Miller is a 6-10, 205-pound center from Greensboro, North Carolina, who attended Greensboro Day before finishing up his prep career with two years at the New Hampton School (N.H.), which plays at the highest division of New England independent basketball. He averaged 7.5 points and 5.6 rebounds while shooting 60 percent inside the arc this past year in captaining the Huskies to a 22-9 record, one year after helping NHS go 21-9 and win the NEPSAC AAA regular season championship with current Big Green assistant coach Pete Hutchins at the helm. Miller was also chosen as the Gnerre Basketball Award winner as the “player who best exemplifies that competitive spirit and class on and off the court.”
“Walker brings a terrific combination of size, skill, and basketball acumen,” McLaughlin said. “He has a great feel at both ends of the floor. Along with competing at the highest level of high school basketball, he has a tremendous work ethic. This foundation will allow him to compete right away. We are confident he is going to make significant strides this summer with his strength and conditioning, which will result in opportunities for him to impact our program.”
Rounding out the class is Rai, a 6-6, 185-pound wing from Markham, Ontario. After playing for Markham District High School, where he was named the team MVP in 2014 and 2015, Rai spent the past two years at the highly competitive Orangeville Prep. This past winter, he produced 17.2 points and 11.9 rebounds a night while dishing out 4.2 assists and swiping 1.4 steals, showcasing a unique skill set for his size that allows him to play multiple positions.
“Aaryn brings a mixture of length and skill that blends well with a competitive streak that is evident each time he steps on the floor,” McLaughlin noted. “He has a true joy for the game, and fits in well with our approach of how he strives to get better. His work ethic and eagerness to want to get better will allow him to contribute at multiple positions. Beyond that, Aaryn's personality and everyday approach will translate well to our program.”