Matheny Announces Five Additions for Elon Phoenix Basketball

Posted by Press Release on August 28, 2015 at 11:03 pm under College | Comments are off for this article

ELON, N.C. – Elon University head men’s basketball coach Matt Matheny announced the addition of five newcomers to the Phoenix program in 2015-16. Sheldon Eberhardt, Karolis Kundrotas, Steven Santa Ana, Tyler Seibring, and Dainan Swoope will all don the maroon and gold next season.

Sheldon Eberhardt (Apex, N.C./Middle Creek)

A 6-5, 185-pound guard from Apex, N.C., Eberhardt averaged 15.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.2 assists for coach David Kushner and Middle Creek High School last season.

“Sheldon, originally from Germany, spent a year at Middle Creek High School and has been a bright spot in our early workouts,” said Matheny. “We were immediately attracted to his ability in some of the early games we saw him play at Middle Creek. Sheldon is a very versatile player and can play multiple positions. A great strength for Sheldon is his ability to shoot. He fell in love with Elon at the same time we fell in love with him.”

Karolis Kundrotas (Kaunas, Lithuania/Barking Abbey School)

A 6-11, 240-pound forward from Kaunas, Lithuania, Kundrotas spent last season playing for coach Lloyd Gardnerat the Barking Abbey School in London, England. In 2014-15, Kundrotas helped Barking Abbey to the Men’s Division I EBL playoff title. In 2013-14, he helped his club to the EABL playoff national title.

“Karolis comes from one of the best programs in not only London, but in all of England at Barking Abbey School,” explained Matheny. “Not only does Karolis have great size, but also he has an ability to pass, catch and shoot, which is essential for the post players in our system. He has hit the ground running with the way he attacks workouts and the way he performed on our European trip.”

Steven Santa Ana (Charlotte, N.C./Ardrey Kell)

A 6-4, 185-pound guard from Charlotte, N.C., Santa Ana led Ardrey Kell to the North Carolina 4A basketball final as a senior, scoring a North Carolina state-record 44 points in the championship game against Garner, including 33 points (also a state record) in the second half. An Associated Press all-state selection, Santa Ana was a two-time conference player of the year and three-time all-conference selection. He owns 11 of Ardrey Kell’s 27 school records, including career points, rebounds, steals and threes made. He was named the state finals MVP and helped his school to a 28-2 record his final season, including a streak of 27 straight wins. During his final three seasons, Santa Ana helped Ardrey Kell to a 75-15 record.

“Steven is tough as nails,” said Matheny. “He was very well coached at Ardrey Kell High School by Mike Craft and had a tremendous high school career highlighted by a sensational senior year, which was capped by one of the best performances in the history of the state final in North Carolina. He is exactly what we look for in an Elon man with toughness, coachability and work ethic.”

Tyler Seibring (Towanda, Ill./Normal Community)

A 6-8, 225-pound forward from Towanda, Ill., Seibring was a three-time all-conference selection for coach Dave Witzig at Normal Community High School. As a senior, he averaged 13.6 points and 6.6 rebounds per game, connecting on 62-of-152 (41 percent) from beyond the arc. Seibring earned all-state recognition by the Associated Press and the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association. He was named the Big 12 Conference Player of the Year as a senior, earning first-team all-conference honors.

“Tyler is a perfect fit for Elon,” Matheny said. “He is extremely skilled and has the ability to play inside and out with the level of toughness that succeeds in our program. Tyler led Normal Community on a thrilling run to the Illinois state final. He comes from a great basketball family as his brother (Trevor) and sister (Katy) have both played at Illinois Wesleyan.”

Dainan Swoope (Kansas City, Kan./ Sunrise Christian Academy)

A 6-1, 180-pound point guard from Kansas City, Kan., Swoope had many accolades during his high school career, including a runner-up finish for the 2014 Kansas Gatorade Player of the Year. Swoope’s Sunrise Christian Academy team has been ranked in the top-25 nationally the last three seasons. In 2015, SCA finished with a 20-4 record and won the 2015 Bluegrass National Championship in Kentucky. Before SCA, Swoope attended Shawnee Mission South High School, where they won the Kansas 5A State Championship in 2012. As part of coach Rodney Perry’s MOKAN Elite program on the Nike EYBL circuit in 2015, Swoope averaged 13 points and three assists leading his team to a Hardwood Classic Championship, the Peach Jam Playoffs and a 12-4 EYBL League record.

“Dainan is an experienced player who was a standout in our evaluations over the summer in the highly touted EYBL circuit,” explained Matheny. “He comes from a system that is very much like ours, which will give him a head start as he begins his career at Elon. We feel very fortunate to have gotten him as a part of this 2015 class. He shoots the ball very well and we expect him to play both guard positions.”

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