(Editor’s note: University of Providence athletics release)
GREAT FALLS — New University of Providence head men’s basketball coach Steve Keller has signed his first recruit since taking over the Argo program in former Montana State University football player Jaxen Hashley. While the signing is the first in what will likely be a long line of local talent brought to UP on Keller’s Montana connections, this one was easy, as Jaxen Hashley is the son of current UP Assistant Athletic Director Doug Hashley.
“This is the most important piece as a starting point for us. This tells the other good Montana kids that we’re serious about recruiting them here,” Keller said. “Jaxen could be the best five in the league year, so I could be the next five in the league for the next four years.”
For the last year, Jaxen Hashley has been a member of the MSU Bobcats football team as a redshirt defensive lineman. During the 2017 preseason, Hashley reinjured an already bad knee that forced him to miss his junior year of high school, and the toll that the game of football would have on that knee eventually led him to a move back to playing basketball.
“The whole football thing didn’t work out, because the knee just couldn’t hold it, but basketball has always been a true love of mine. So the opportunity to come play here is a dream come true,” Jaxen Hashley said. “I was kind of waiting to see what to do. Obviously, my parents moved here and then Coach Keller came here and that was a big piece too.”
Before initially committing to play football in college, the 6-6 athlete was a two-sport star at Glacier High School. He was First Team All-State as both an offensive and defensive lineman for the Wolfpack and was the 2017 AA State Tournament MVP.
As a bruising forward in the Hashley family tradition, Jaxen Hashley averaged a double-double in his senior year of high school, leading the Wolfpack to a 20-3 record and a State Championship with 16.7 ppg and 11.9 rpg. Despite missing his entire junior season, Hashley left Glacier as the program’s fifth leading scorer (645 points), third leading rebounder (522 rebounds), fourth leader in assists (189 assists), and fifth lead in steals (83 steals).
“I had a chance to coach him in the Montana-Wyoming All-Star game last year. I knew he was good, but he’s going to be very good here,” Keller said. “He’s been well coached and well-schooled by his father. He’s got great basketball skills. He can pass the ball, he can shoot the three, he’s a great rebounder, and he can make the outlet pass. He’s the whole package.”
Jaxen Hashley is just the most recent version of dominant Hashley post players. His father, current UP Assistant AD Doug Hashley, is an MSU Hall of Famer and the program’s second all-time leading rebounder. The youngest of three Hashley daughters, Cassidy Hashley, is a member of the Carroll College women’s basketball team and was First Team All-Frontier Conference and an Honorable Mention All-American in 2016-17.
The two elder Hashley daughters were both Frontier Conference volleyball players at Carroll and Montana Tech.
Jaxen Hashley will add some needed size to a UP roster that graduates it’s two starting big men in Steven Daho-Clark and Trayvon Bashir. The two players combined for over a third of the team’s total rebounds in 2017-18. Hashley will have four years of eligibility left to play with the Argos.