Monroe’s Quinn McHenry lands with Sonoma State’s DII basketball program

Published: Dec. 16, 2020 at 7:48 PM AKST
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Monroe Catholic High School senior Quinn McHenry is taking his talents at the next level to warm weather and strong competition. At Boileau Hall Wednesday, where McHenry has spent countless hours practicing, the 6-foot-5-inch forward signed his national letter of intent to play for Sonoma State University’s Division II basketball program in Rohnert Park, California.

“A big part was location, there is not much to complain about with California [weather],” said McHenry of his collegiate decision. “It is going to be a whole different world of competition and I am just excited to see the level of other people down there.”

McHenry prospered into an essential part of Monroe’s success last season, where the Rams (10-0 in Aurora Conference) were one of the best teams in Class 3A boy’s basketball before the season was called off in March, just prior to the conference tournament. The lengthy sharpshooter averaged 15.5 points per game at an efficient 41 percent clip from three-point range his junior season. With the addition of 7.2 rebounds per game, McHenry was named an Aurora All-Conference member. Joining the program his freshman year, the Monroe Catholic culture has helped shape McHenry both on and off the court.

“It has really influenced me in more than just basketball,” he said. “Everybody here is just a family and it has really taught me how to lift everybody else up and really play as a team more, than just focusing on yourself. A lot of players, Coach [Frank] Ostanik tells us, have given him a text a couple years down the road saying, ‘you were right, nothing else is like the family we had a Monroe.’ I can say I see that right now.” McHenry added in front of masked supporters.

The Sonoma State Seawolves compete in the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) and are led by third year head coach Rich Shayewitz.

“He’s a great coach from what I can tell,” said McHenry of Shayewitz. “As far as like team concepts, a lot of it is pretty similar to Monroe; everybody is a family, you have to sacrifice for everybody else. It just seemed like a program that I could definitely see myself flowing into pretty easily.”

Monroe head coach Frank Ostanik has been a part of McHenry’s development the past three years and has no concerns about his work ethic at the collegiate level.

“Knowing how many times I have opened the gym for him and other kids at six in the morning, coming in on Saturdays and working or staying after school, I know the level of commitment,” Ostanik said after McHenry penned his NLI. “We have not had any kid that has invested in the weight room at such an early age as Quinn has.

“You don’t have to babysit Quinn. I don’t have to run around and make sure he is doing his homework or keeping his grades up. All I have to do with Quinn is coach him and when you get guys like that it is a special thing.” Ostanik added.

This year has been especially difficult for student-athletes to get recruited because of NCAA restrictions and eligibility waivers.

“It was really tough actually. Class of 2021 people really have a hard time trying to find some place that is even looking to recruit, because most people would just be like, ‘I am going to just keep my seniors,” said McHenry of the recruiting trail. “Sonoma State was a pretty specific situation, everything kind of fell into place. They were looking to recruit new people and I fit the archetype of they were looking for and they were one of very few other schools that were even open to anything.”

With the difficulty surrounding recruitment and gym closures during the pandemic, McHenry gained a new perspective of the game he loves.

“You definitely value actual gym time a lot more. When everything was really shut down, I would work out in my garage,” McHenry said. “You just put a lot more value in every minute you get into the gym. Just every time you’re in there, give it 100 percent, because now you realize what it is like when you can’t.”

The McHenry family (Kevin, Quinn, Julie) pose with a Sonoma State University poster following...
The McHenry family (Kevin, Quinn, Julie) pose with a Sonoma State University poster following Quinn's signing to the Division II school.(Jordan Rodenberger (KTVF))

The CCAA elected to forgo the 2020-21 season due to ongoing COVID-19 concerns. As both are Division II programs, the University of Alaska Fairbanks has competed against Sonoma State in the past, most recently in 2004 when the Nanooks defeated the Seawolves 74-59. Ostanik, the current Rams and former UAF head coach, anchored the sidelines during the victory, while Brad Oleson led all scorers with 33 points.

McHenry is undecided on his studies in college, but has an interest in physical therapy. If all goes well, McHenry will compete for the Rams his senior season when it tips-off in January.

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