LEWISTON - On Thursday, July 29, the Lewis-Clark State Men’s Basketball team announced the signings of four incoming Warriors. Teagan Hoard, Cooper Howell and Sean Pak all hail from the Pacific Northwest, while Kalani Sapwell will join the team out of Adelaide, Australia. The four will join Kevin Baker and Alex Sommerfield in the class of incoming players.
Hoard, an incoming freshman from Spokane’s Central Valley High School, helped the team to the 4A State Championship game as a junior and scored 13 points. As a senior, the 6-2 guard led the team to a runner-up finish in league play. Hoard averaged 21.0 points, 5.0 assists and 5.0 rebounds per game as a senior and was voted First-Team All-GSL and All-State Honorable Mention.
“I chose LC because the players and coaches made it feel like home as soon as I walked in,” Hoard said. “The energy the team plays with is unmatched and it’s definitely a group I wanted to surround myself with.”
“Few people in the Northwest have improved at the rate Teagan has the last two seasons,” Head Coach Austin Johnson said. “He worked tirelessly on his body and his game to become a standout player in a big-time high school program. He’s a tough player that has a desire to continue to get better in all facets of his game and we believe LC is the perfect spot for that.”
Sapwell, a 6-3 guard from Australia, prepped at Trinity College under his father and Head Coach, Rupert Sapwell. The team won the 2018 national championship and finished third in 2019. Trinity also won four straight conference championships during Sapwell’s tenure. During his senior year, he averaged 18.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game. He also competed at the State level for South Australia and helped that team to two top-three finishes at the national level.
“It has been a lifelong goal to play college basketball in the U.S. LC has been a highly successful team and I had heard great things about the coaching staff,” Sapwell said. “I developed a great relationship with them during the recruiting process and can’t wait to get to work!”
“As the first signee in our 2021 recruiting class, Kalani has had a bird’s eye view into our program and what it’s like to be part of the LC team,” Johnson said. “He is a high-energy guard who has played at a very high level internationally. His skillset, IQ and physicality are all impressive for a high school senior, but what sets him apart and will help this program most are his leadership intangibles.”
Boise’s Howell was a two-year varsity starter for the Boise High School Braves. The 6-3 guard helped Boise High to its first win at the State tournament in over 20 years in 2020-21 when he averaged 9.0 points and 4.0 rebounds per game. He graduated with a 4.2 GPA and is the son of former Warrior and LC State Hall of Fame member Rosie (Albert) Howell.
“For me, LC State was the right fit,” Howell said. “LC is the perfect combination of a great basketball program, a good school and the right culture. I also have strong family history and connections to LC and the Lewiston community.”
“Cooper is a smart, tough player that is always in the gym,” Johnson said. “He has an impressive work ethic in the classroom and on the court. Cooper is all in on being a part of something bigger than himself and has a great understanding of LC’s basketball history. I look forward to his growth as an athlete and teammate at the college level.”
The fourth member of the group, Pak join LC as a 6-4 guard/forward out of Beaverton, Ore. and Southridge High School. He was a two-time team captain and a three-year varsity player. During his sophomore season, Southridge finished second in the strong Metro League and advanced to the third round of the state playoffs. As a senior, Pak was voted 6A Third-Team All-Metro and averaging 11.0 points, 9.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game.
“I chose LC because I wanted to push myself athletically and academically,” Pak said. “It’s been my goal to play college basketball and to be a part of a championship program so LC felt like the perfect fit.”
“Sean is a versatile player who plays extremely hard,” Johnson said. “Those characteristics are always something we value. At the high school level, he was able to constantly impact the game due to his length and motor. We expect him to make strides as he invests in his game further and dedicates himself to his weight room.”