Aug. 4, 2006

Vinita Player Signs with RSU Men's Basketball Team

Rogers State University this week signed guard/forward Chris Francis of Cleora to the men's basketball team.

"Chris brings a strong court presence and he's a player with a lot of upside," said RSU men's basketball head coach and athletic director Wren Baker. "Once he's had a year to mature physically and hit the weight room, he will be able to develop into a player who will make a strong contribution early in his career."

The 6-foot, 3-inch, 185-pound Francis helped lead Vinita to the state title game during his sophomore and junior years, and he was named first-team all-tournament both years. During his senior year, he averaged 17 points per game, four rebounds and three assists per game for the Hornets. He was also selected to play in the Oklahoma Basketball Coaches Association's all-state tournament as a senior. He is the son of Chris and Tina Francis of Cleora.

Joining Fisher at the signing event at the RSU Claremore campus were his mother and Wes Brown, Vinita High School men's basketball head coach.

"Chris has been one of our best players and a real team leader during the last three years. He's an exceptional player with a strong work ethic both on and off the court," Brown said. "RSU will be a great fit for him."

Francis will redshirt during the 2006-07 season at RSU, but he will have four years of eligibility remaining when the RSU Hillcat men's and women's basketball programs begin competition in fall 2007.

Francis is the third player that Baker has signed to the men's squad this summer. Previous signees included point guard Maurice Rutherford of Broken Bow and Camaron Dearinger of Glencoe, a transfer who played one year at Northwestern Oklahoma State University.