ELON, N.C. – Elon University men’s basketball coach Matt Matheny announced the addition of three newcomers to the Phoenix program for the upcoming 2017-18 season. Nathan Priddy (Argyle, Texas), Duje Radja (Split, Croatia), and Simon Wright (Minneapolis, Minn.) will all don the maroon and gold next season.
“All three of our signees are very well suited to joining a program that values work ethic, toughness and coachability,” said Matheny. “I think all three guys have all three qualities and because of that they have a chance to be successful. They will fit in well with the experienced team they are joining and we expect them to make an immediate impact on the program.”
Nathan Priddy • 6-2 • Guard • Argyle, Texas • Argyle High School
Priddy joins the program as a 6-2, 185-pound guard from Argyle, Texas and played at Argyle High School under head coach Russell Perkins. He was twice named District MVP during his junior and senior seasons at Argyle and was named Area MVP as a senior in 2016-17. The 2016-17 First Team All-State selection guided his team to regional and district titles. Priddy had his best season as a senior, averaging 17.6 points, 5.1 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 3.8 steals per contest. He also made 47 percent of his three pointers as a senior. Priddy played AAU basketball with Triumph under head coach Steve Adams.
Quoting Coach Matheny: “Nathan had a fantastic senior year at Argyle High School and his play in the state tournament really caught our attention. He has a tremendous ability to shoot and we were very impressed with his ball skills. We love the attitude he brings into Elon of being determined to improve on a daily basis.”
Duje Radja • 6-9 • Forward • Split, Croatia • Kimball Union Academy
Radja arrives as a 6-9, 245-pound forward from Split, Croatia. He came to the United States for his senior year of high school, playing at Kimball Union Academy in New Hampshire under head coach Mike Olson. Radja was an All-New England selection as a senior earning NEPSAC Honorable Mention. He finished the year averaging 13.0 points, 8.0 rebounds per contest, and made 61 percent of his shots. Prior to Kimball Union Academy, Radja played basketball for club Split in Croatia.
Radja has been raised around the game of basketball his entire life as his father, Dino Radja, played for the Boston Celtics. His father was an NBA All-Rookie Second Team selection in 1994 and also played for seven other European teams during his career.
Quoting Coach Matheny: “Duje is new to the United States and has only been here for the one year, which he was able to spend at Kimball Union Academy. He made great strides during his year there and I think fits perfectly into the way we like our big guys in our system. He’s a very good passer, he’s got good hands, and he’s also talented enough to score with either hand in the paint, and he can stretch defenses. His ceiling is very high.”
Simon Wright • 6-7 • Forward • Minneapolis, Minn. • Hopkins High School
Wright is a 6-7, 215-pound forward from Minneapolis, Minn. and played at Hopkins High School under head coach Ken Novak. He was a three-year starter and a two-time All-Lake Conference selection at Hopkins. Wright guided Hopkins to an AAAA State Championship in 2016 and helped his team win the Lake Conference Championship in all three seasons. The forward put together the best season of his career as a senior in 2016-17, averaging 16.0 points and 11.0 rebounds per game. During his junior campaign in 2015-16, Wright averaged 11.5 points and six rebounds to help Hopkins win the 2016 AAAA State Championship. Wright concluded his career at Hopkins averaging 11.7 points and seven rebounds in three seasons. He played AAU basketball with the Minnesota Comets under head coach Chris Lewis.
Quoting Coach Matheny: “Simon was the first to commit and did it after a great visit last summer. The fact that he committed when he did says a lot to us about how attracted he is to Elon and how excited he is about being a part of the Elon community. He’s had tremendous success with a state championship as a junior. He also had a great run in the Minnesota state playoffs as a senior. He comes to us from a very successful high school program and also had a lot of success in the summer circuit, so he’s a winner. Simon has a great level of toughness and I’m excited about his versatility, being able to defend and play multiple positions.”
Priddy, Radja and Wright join a Phoenix team that finished 18-14 in 2016-17, including a 10-8 mark in the Colonial Athletic Association last season. Elon returns all five starters from last season, including all four players who averaged double figure scoring. The most notable returner is All-CAA honoree and Academic All-American Tyler Seibring.