Oilers head men's basketball coach Charlie Ernst announced the signing of three student-athletes to National Letters of Intent on Tuesday, Nov. 20.Austin Gardner (Toledo, Ohio), Tyler Stern (Worthington, Ohio) and Ricardo Smith (Toledo, Ohio) have committed to play for Findlay beginning in 2013.
"We are really excited to sign three players from really good high school programs," said Ernst. "Austin and Ricardo are two of the top players in Northwest Ohio and are on teams that are good enough to compete for the state championship. Tyler meanwhile gives us the versatility we have been looking for at the forward position. He has a high upside and has unique skills and athleticism for a player his size."
A 6'1 point guard, Gardner is in his final season at Toledo St. John's High School under head coach Ed Heintschel. He was named second team all-Three Rivers Athletic Conference as a junior and is one of the most highly rated point guards in Ohio according to multiple recruiting services. Gardner also led his team in assists last season and finished second on the team in scoring and rebounding behind Ohio State commit Marc Loving.
A 6'7 forward, Stern was named first team all-Ohio Capital Conference last year at Worthington Kilbourne High School under the guidance of head coach Tom Souder. He was also a special mention all-Central District pick and averaged 11 points, eight rebounds and two blocked shots per game as a junior.
A 6'2 guard, Smith was named second team all-Three Rivers Athletic Conference as a junior under head coach Bruce Smith at Toledo Whitmer High School. Smith averaged ten points, four rebounds and three assists per game while helping leading Whitmer to the state championship game last season.