Two of the top senior boys basketball players from the 2018-19 season have decided to stick around.

Theran Smith of Byng and Sando Hill of Vanoss have signed letters of intent to play basketball for head coach Ja Havens and East Central University.

Over the last decade, it hasn’t been super common for ECU to land local basketball players, so for the Tigers to get two strong additions from the Ada area in the same year is pretty special.

“We love the fact that these local student-athletes have chosen to be Tigers and are confident that they will impact our team in a positive manner on and off the floor,” Havens told The Ada News. “With the additions of Theran Smith and Sando Hill, we feel that we have added high-character young men that will continue to help us grow a successful program. Both of these young men are hard workers and come from winning programs.”

Theran Smith

Byng High School

Smith averaged 18 points, 10 rebounds and over two blocked shots per game during a strong senior campaign. He dominated the paint for the Pirates and was known for his monster dunks.

“Theran is a great young man with a strong work ethic. He has good size and athleticism and will be able to help our team on both ends of the floor with his skill level and versatility,” Havens said.

Smith averaged over 10 points per game through three seasons with the Pirates.

He earned All-Lake Country Conference awards three times and helped guide the Pirates to a regional runner-up finish in 2017.

“Theran has played in a quality program at Byng High School and for a good coach in Cody Williams. He has a bright future and will represent the Tiger program well in all he does,” Havens said.

Sando Hill

Vanoss High School

Led by Hill, the Wolves reached the first round of the Class 2A State Tournament this past season. During a stellar senior campaign, he averaged 19 points, eight rebounds, six assists and four steals per game. Vanoss finished the season at 26-5 and was ranked No. 1 in Class 2A at one point during the campaign.

Hill was named the 2019 Ada News All-Area Boys Player of the Year.

“Sando is a dynamic scoring guard with great athleticism, and he has the ability to be an elite on-ball defender,” Havens said. “Coming from Vanoss High School and coach Jonathon Hurt, we know that Sando has been taught well and understands the demands of playing in winning program. Sando has the opportunity to be a very good player at our level, and we are excited that he will be a Tiger.”

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Havens also signed Caleb Williams, a 6-2 guard from Gladewater High School in Winona, Texas.

Williams joins the Tigers after spending two seasons at Richland College under the guidance of Jon Havens, the brother of ECU coach Ja Havens.

While with the Thuderducks, Williams improved from 8.6 points per game as a freshman to 19.9 in 2018-19.

Jeff Cali has been covering sports in the Ada area since the mid-90s. He graduated from Byng High School and earned a bachelor’s degree from East Central University.