BEMIDJI, Minn. – Bemidji State University men's basketball Head Coach Mike Boschee has inked his first NCAA early signing class as BSU’s bench boss, as he announced Friday Clayton Elrod (F, 6-6, Elk River, Minn.) and Christian Pekarek (PG, 6-0, Little Falls, Minn.) have signed National Letters of Intent to paly for the Beavers in 2014-15.
“We are really excited about both our early signees’ futures here at Bemidji State,” Boschee said. “We think they are great guys, great shooters and both are eager to continue to learn the game. They understand what being a part of a team is all about.”
All signees are contingent upon admission to BSU and compliance with NCAA rules, including certification by the NCAA Eligibility Center.
Clayton Elrod • F • 6-6 • 195 • Elk River, Minn. • Elk River High School
Elk River High School: Elrod enters his senior season at Elk River High School fifth all-time in scoring with 1,111 career points… Became the school’s seventh 1,000-point scorer during his junior year after averaging 17.1 (496 points) points per game to earn All-Northwest Suburban Conference honors… Helped guide the Elk to a 20-9 overall and 13-7 conference record… Finished second on the team and fifth in the conference in scoring as a junior, while leading the squad in free throw percentage (81.8% - 126-of-154) and second in rebounding (4.9 rpg – 143), field goal percentage (52.3% - 168-of-321) and 3-point percentage (39.1% - 34-for-87)… Totaled 10 or more points more than 20 times and 20 or more points nine times, which included a 30-point performance at Park Center (Jan. 4, 2013)… Named all-conference as a sophomore after leading the team with 18.1 points and 6.3 rebounds per game… Shot 57 percent from the floor, 34 percent from 3-point land and 80 percent from the charity stripe… Came off the bench of the varsity squad as a freshman to total 125 points and 57 rebounds... Two-sport athlete has earned two letters in football and was named the team’s offensive line most valuable player… Is a 3.3, two-sport athlete accomplishment recipient at Elk River.
Personal: Born Feb. 14, 1996… Son of Timothy and Jolene Elrod… Proposed business entrepreneurship/business marking major at BSU… Had two uncles play football at Iowa State University and two aunts compete for the ISU track team… Father played basketball at University of Northwestern St. Paul.
“Clayton is a 6-6, three-man that can really shoot the ball,” Boschee said. “We are excited about this flexibility, as he could probably play at the wing and inside a little bit. If he is playing the stretch four spot, he could cause some problems for the opposing defense. He is very coachable and we look forward to seeing him in a Beaver uniform.”
Christian Pekarek • PG • 6-0 • 155 • Little Falls, Minn. • Upsala High School
Upsala High School: Upsala High School’s all-time scorer and assist leader, Pekarek guided the Cardinals to a 31-2 overall record and a fourth place finish at the Class A Minnesota State Tournament in 2012-13… Totaled 758 points (23.0 ppg) and 106 assists (3.2 apg) to earn Prairie Conference Most Valuable Player and Morrison County Record Boy’s Basketball Player of the Year… Led Upsala to a 31-0 record until two consecutive losses in the state tournament, where Pekarek was named Class A State All-Tournament Team and Breakdown Sports Class A All-State Team… Surpassed 1,000 career points Feb. 13, 2013… Added 153 rebounds (4.6 rpg), 104 steals (3.2 spg) as a junior, while he shot 53 percent (248-of-465) from the field, 49 percent (66-for-136) from beyond the arc and 77 percent (196-of-254) from the free throw line… Named All-Prairie Conference as a sophomore and freshman (honorable mention)… A two-time team most valuable player… Helped guide the Cardinals to their program’s first appearance in the state tournament in 2011… Also a standout on the Upsala baseball team, has earned eight letters in baseball (four) and basketball (four)… Owns school record for stolen bases and is a gold glove performer… In the classroom, Pekarek is a member of the A Honor Roll and is a Top 10 Honor Graduate.
Personal: Born July, 22, 1995… Son of Michael Pekarek and Jeanne Lemieur… Proposed secondary math education major at BSU… Brother, Kyler, played baseball at Itasca Community College (2010-11) and Mount Marty College (2012-13).
“Christian is a great player and shoots the ball extremely well,” Boschee said. “He has the ability to lead a team, as he proved last season when he led Upsala to the state tournament. With his leadership and playing abilities he will be a good player for us down the road.”
Bemidji State continues its four-game nonconference homestand Nov. 23 when it hosts College of St. Scholastica at 4 p.m.
For more information on the Bemidji State men’s basketball program, follow the Beavers on Twitter (@BSUHoops or @BSUBeavers), like them on Facebook (facebook.com/Bemidji-State-Basketball or facebook.com/BSUBeavers) or sign up for the TXTUpdates from BSUBeavers.com text-messaging system through the "Mulitmedia" pull down menu on the main page of BSUBeavers.com.
Nestled in Northern Minnesota’s wooded region and located on the shore of Lake Bemidji, Bemidji State University sponsors 15 varsity athletic programs with NCAA Division I men’s and women’s hockey membership in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, while its 13 NCAA Division II programs hold membership in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).