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Snow men's basketball signs two more for fall

Snow men's basketball signs two more for fall

Photo captions: Nate Aland (left) runs up floor while playing for the Murray Spartans (Murray, Utah) during this past season. Chandler Smith (right) shoots a three-pointer during his senior season in 2009 at Mountain Crest High School in Hyrum, Utah. Both players have signed to play basketball at Snow College starting in fall 2013.


EPHRAIM, Utah—Snow College announced the signing of two more men’s basketball players for the 2013-14 season. The new players are Chandler Smith, 6’3” guard from Mountain Crest HS in Hyrum, Utah, and 6’11” Nate Aland from Murray HS, Murray, Utah.

Aland led Murray in both scoring and rebounding as a team captain this year, averaging 15.0 points and 8.6 rebounds per game. “We structure our team around him,” said his high school coach Jason Workman in an article in the Salt Lake Tribune. “We always tell everybody we have to play inside-out. He is the inside. ... He's a handful.” Aland recorded a triple-double in an early season game against West with 24 points, 13 rebounds and 11 blocked shots.

A leg injury limited Aland’s playing time in high school until his senior season. Fully recovered, Aland was named to the 4A All-State Third Team this season. He shot an eye-popping 64 percent from the floor with his soft touch and 77 percent from the line during his high school career.

After graduating from Mountain Crest High School in 2009, Smith signed to play basketball at Utah State University where his father, Kohn, was head coach from 1989 to 1993. Smith went on a mission for the LDS church, however, after high school and has decided to play basketball at Snow upon his return home. He averaged 14.0 points per game in his senior season at Mountain Crest along with 2.0 three-pointers per game and was named to the 4A All-State Second Team. Smith scored a career-high 30 points in a game against Box Elder in his junior year.

“I’m really excited for the opportunity to continue playing basketball,” Smith said. “I will definitely have to work harder since I have been away from things for a couple years. But I have been working hard and I’m getting back into playing shape.” After visiting Snow College, Smith said, “It seems like a great place for me to be. I like the college and the kids, and I really think a lot of the coaching staff.”

Smith was a multi-sport athlete in high school, playing football, golf and baseball along with basketball. He was a first team All-State third baseman and was tournament MVP as his Mustangs won the Utah 4A baseball championship in his senior season, fueling Mountain Crest’s 6-5 win with a 3-run homer in the title game to end Cottonwood’s four-year run as state champions.

Last week Snow announced the signing of Blake Truman, a 6’8” post player out of Legend High School in Parker, Colo. Truman will join Aland and Smith on the Badger squad this fall.

Snow College, the oldest two-year college west of the Mississippi, was founded in 1888 and plays basketball in the highly respected Scenic West Athletic Conference (SWAC). Snow, which has a second campus in Richfield, Utah, has a total enrollment of 4,500 students. This past season Snow’s men’s basketball team finished with an overall record of 22-10, finishing third in the SWAC, and was ranked as high as No. 20 nationally in the NJCAA poll.

-- Doug Johnson, Snow College Sports Information Dept., Ephraim, UT (435) 283-7320