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Wednesday August 17, 2022
NMU Wildcats Introduce Incoming Basketball Class

Northern Michigan University men's basketball head coach Matt Majkrzak has announced the signing of five incoming freshmen and two transfers into the program. Freshman Aidan Bellisle, CJ Campbell, Najashi Tolefree, Casey Verhagen, and Max Weisbrod and transfers Josh Evans and Diego Robinson will join the Wildcats for the 2022-2023 season.

Coach Majkrzak on the incoming players: "We are really excited about this incoming recruiting class. With only two upperclassmen on our roster, we felt it was important to add some veteran players in Diego and Josh who have already completed tremendous careers at NAIA institutions. At the same time, it was important for us to keep bringing in top tier high school talent. The biggest thing that stands out about these guys is how hard they all work on their games outside of practice. They are passionate basketball players that care about their craft. In addition, they are tremendous young men that are great students and place a high value on academics. We are thrilled about their potential to make big impacts on and off the floor."

Freshmen

Aidan Bellisle | 6'1" | G | Menominee, Mich. | Menominee High School


After a stellar high school career for Menominee, Bellisle will wear Green and Gold in 2022-23 as an incoming freshman for the 'Cats. He was named the UP Division 1-3 Player of the Year and the Great Northern Conference Player of the Year this past season. Bellisle was also named to the UP Dream Team. He averaged just over 15 ppg and nearly 5 apg. He led his team to the Division 3 state title game last season and he scored over 1,000 career points.

Coach Majkrzak on Bellisle: "Aidan was one of the best players in the UP this past season, and what really stood out was the impact he had on winning. Leading Menominee to an appearance in the state championship game, he found different ways to win whether that meant scoring, passing, or defending. He was also a standout on the football field, and is the kind of tough, smart, and skilled player we place a high value on."

CJ Campbell | 6'6" | F | New Richmond, Mich. | New Richmond High School

Campbell was named WBCA Division 2 Honorable Mention All-State, 2nd Team All-Big Rivers Conference, and a WBCA All-Star at New Richmond. He averaged 23.4 ppg and 8.6 rpg his senior year and scored 1,549 career points.

Coach Majkrzak on Campbell: "CJ's athleticism and shooting stroke are the first things that stand out about him. He's a three-level scorer that can catch lob dunks and pull up from deep. He uses his athleticism defensively to protect the rim and rebound. He has every tool that you could ask for out of a young wing, and we are excited about the way he keeps getting better."

Najashi Tolefree | 6'6" | F | Milwaukee, Wis. | West Allis Central High School

Tolefree was named WBCA Division 1 Honorable Mention All-State, 2nd Team All-Woodland West Conference, and a WBCA All-Star. He averaged 21.1 ppg, 10.6 rpg, and 4.9 apg his senior year and scored 1,372 career points.

Coach Majkrzak on Tolefree: "Najashi is a fierce competitor that plays with a high motor and toughness. On the defensive side of the ball, he can guard all five positions and is a tremendous rebounder that aggressively pursues the ball. On offense, he's a great scorer that can take advantage of mismatches, and is a great passer for his size."

Casey Verhagen | 6'1" | G | Sheboygan, Wis. | Sheboygan Lutheran High School

This past season, Verhagen was named WBCA Division 4 1st Team All-State, 1st Team All-Big East Conference, and a WBCA All-Star. He averaged 26.2 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 6.0 apg, and 2.8 spg his senior year and accumulated 2,265 career points. He led his team to a 25-2 record his senior year as they won the Big East South Conference title.

Coach Majkrzak on Verhagen: "Casey is someone we first saw as a freshman competing against Justin and Dylan Kuehl in the state playoffs. He has a tremendous ability to get to the paint using his quickness and strength. He also has a big-time knack for putting the ball in his basket, which is evident in the 2,265 points he scored. He's a coach's son that has natural leadership skills and an intense desire to win."

Max Weisbrod | 6'4" | G | DeForest, Wis. | DeForest High School

Weisbrod was named WBCA Division 2 1st Team All-State, the Badger East Conference Player of the Year, and a WBCA All-Star this past season. He averaged 20.8 ppg, 7.1 rpg, and 7.4 apg his senior year and scored 1,402 career points. He led his team to a 23-5 record his senior year as they won the Badger-East Conference title.

Coach Majkrzak on Weisbrod: "Max is another coach's son that first and foremost cares about winning. He's a big guard that uses his size to not only score and rebound, but also find open guys anywhere on the floor. He's very physical and defensively can guard a variety of positions using his strength and high IQ."

Transfers

Josh Evans | 6'2" | G | Dolton, Ill. | St. Xavier (Ill.)


Evans joins the Wildcats as a graduate transfer from St. Xavier of the NAIA. For his efforts this past season, he was named an Honorable Mention NAIA All-American and First-Team All-CCAC. He averaged 17.3 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 3.7 apg, and 2.3 spg while leading his team in each category. He has been named All-CCAC twice and has scored 1,252 career points in college. He led the CCAC in steals, was second in free throws made, eighth in points/game, and ninth in assists. Nationally, he was 11th in steals and 28th in free throws made. He was named the CCAC Player of the Week on Dec. 7th for averaging 24.5 ppg, 11 rpg, and 5 apg over two games.

Coach Majkrzak on Evans: "Josh is a transfer from the same NAIA conference as John Kerr, and we think he will make a similar impact with not just his play, but his leadership for our team. He's an athletic-led guard that can score at three levels and set his teammates up. We also feel like he has a chance to be one of the best defensive players in the conference."

Diego Robinson | 6'6" | F | Lansing, Mich. | Rochester (Mich.)

Robinson comes to Northern as a transfer from Rochester of the NAIA. He was named First-Team All-WHAC this past season, averaging 13.8 ppg and 9.5 rpg while shooting 56.1% from the field. He totaled 11 double-doubles on the season. Between his time at Rochester and Grand Rapids CC, Robinson has scored 1,034 points and collected 985 rebounds. He was named WHAC Player of the Week on Jan. 24th for averaging 19 ppg and 11 rpg while shooting 60.9% from the floor over two games. He was also named to the WHAC All-Academic Team.
Coach Majkrzak on Robinson: "Diego will be one of the best athletes in the conference, and has improved considerably every year of his career. He's incredibly tough and competitive which is reflected in the 985 rebounds he's grabbed collegiately. He's proven that he can consistently score inside, and can command a double team. We think he's a perfect fit with the shooting we return around him."

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