HELENA -- The Carroll College men's and women's basketball programs both announced additions to their 2021 recruiting classes this week. Men's coach Kurt Paulson announced the signing of 6-foot-1 combo guard Garrett Long of Wenatchee, Wash., while Rachelle Sayers announced the signing of Alexa Orten, a 5-7 point guard from West High School in Salt Lake City, Utah.
According to a Carroll College media release, Long averaged 21 points, five rebounds and four assists per game for Wenatchee High School during his junior season.
"Garrett is a tough kid first of all. He cares and wants to win," Paulson said in the release. "He will come in and demand respect right away because he plays so hard and will complement the returners that we have in the program. He can guard quick strong guards and offensively he is deadly in pick and roll. We really needed someone who can work off ball screens and get downhill and that is what he can do as well as hit the open 3."
Long is now the third player on the Saints' roster from Washington joining Shamrock Campbell and Malachi Afework.
"People around the Northwest in basketball circles know that we got a good one," Paulson added. "Academically he is off the charts and will fit with Carroll's academic culture."
"I would like to thank Coach Paulson for pursuing me and doing everything he has done in the midst of Covid," said Long, who plans to study business. "Not a lot of people realize how many hours I put into basketball every day, and by having a college program that has taken interest in me has made it all worth it."
Orten, meanwhile, is an all-region and all-state academic performer and holds the school record for highest GPA/ACT for an athlete, according to the Carroll College media release, which also said Orten was a unanimous selection for offensive and defensive MVP, all-tournament MVP and a two-time all-tournament team selection. She is also a member of a USA women's basketball team that is playing at the United World Games in Europe summer 2021.
"Alexa is a tremendous student and will be a great ambassador of Carroll College. She is a hard worker and will be a player that makes those around her better," said Sayers. "She is a tough competitor that can get to the rim and finish as well as D-up the opposing team's best players. We are extremely excited that she chose to be a Saint."
Orten averaged 16 points per game and has a career-high of 33 points. She also led her classification in steals, averaging four per game.
"When you know, you know. For me, Carroll is the total package: the people, the campus, the academics, the sports, the reputation," said Orten, who chose Carroll over NCAA Division II programs Western Colorado, Colorado Christian, Metro State and Westminster. "Even more, Coach Sayers and her team's competence and caring really stood out and made choosing Carroll an easy decision."