LINDSBORG — Bethany College men’s basketball coach Clair Oleen may need two teams for all the players he’s been signing.
He went clear to California for his latest addition as he continues to stockpile talent for a run at the KCAC championship.
Ian Merzwinski of LaGrange, Calif., is transferring to play for the Swedes.
Merzwinski, a forceful 6-5 inside presence, comes to Bethany from Columbia College in California. Before playing there, Merzwinski played at Mariposa County High School in Mariposa, Calif.
Merzwinski was a first-team All-Conference member his junior and senior year. At Columbia, he was a first-team All-Defense member in the Central Valley Conference in his sophomore season.
Merzwinski averaged eight points a game and nearly seven rebounds at Columbia College. He shot 63 percent from the field.
Oleen was gushing about his latest find.
"Ian will be a great addition to Bethany College and Bethany basketball,” Oleen said. “He is a great student and a very good interior basketball player who will team up very well with our great core of returning players. First and foremost, Ian is a great teammate who will blend in with our great team chemistry very well. He always plays hard and is a relentless rebounder, crashing the offensive glass every time his team attempts a shot. He has a good mid-range jumper, but can also penetrate to the rim and finish strong. He is good down low with his back to the basket and passes out of there well, too. Ian was on the All-Conference Defensive Team while at Columbia College. He will help fill one of our main needs among our returning players, a strong, physical but yet skilled presence in the post."
Ian is the son of Carson and Jeff Tyree. He has a 3.4 grade point average and will major in Exercise Science.