MANKATO — Zach McDermott transferred to a different high school for his senior season, then went to a junior college, staying one year before moving to another junior college.
Now, McDermott hopes he’s found a more permanent address, attending Minnesota State to study business and play basketball.
“It’s nice to know I’ll be in the same place, helping to build something for the next three years,” McDermott said. “(Minnesota State) had the three things I was looking for: the basketball and success, the education and the college experience.”
McDermott, who is from Lawrence, Kansas, attended Hutchinson (Kansas) Communtiy College and redshirted. He then transferred to Northern Oklahoma College, a junior-college program in Enid, Oklahoma. He will have three seasons of eligibility at Minnesota State.
McDermott is a 6-foot-3 combo guard. In 31 games, including 27 starts, McDermott averaged 12.9 points, 4.9 rebounds and 2.2 assists, shooting 36.9% from 3-point range and 69.0% on free throws. He averaged more than 31 minutes per game, helping the Jets post a 17-15 record.
“I think I’m a playmaker who can get my teammates involved,” McDermott said. “I can score and shoot it, but I prefer to get everyone else going.”
McDermott said he would be signing his letter of intent this week. Minnesota State coach Matt Margenthaler can’t comment on recruits until he receives that paperwork.
Margenthaler did say last month that he hoped to add two transfers to the roster, meaning there could be one more coming. He already signed four high-school players (guards Keaton Ferris and Tyrell Stuttley and forwards Mason Muller and Brady Williams) for next season and a junior-college transfer who will redshirt (forward Cody Baer).
McDermott, who has been to Minneapolis but not Mankato, considered Central Missouri, Grand Valley State, Harding and Metro State before choosing Minnesota State.
He said the recruiting process has been unusual, given that he can’t visit campus or have in-person contact with the coaches. He has a mutual friend with Minnesota State sophomore Quincy Anderson, so the two have talked about Minnesota State.
He, his parents and the Minnesota State coaches have had online conversations to help McDermott feel comfortable going so far away from home.
“It’s a huge weight off my shoulder,” McDermott said. “It’s tough when you can’t visit to get a feel for things. It feels a little rushed, but I know I made the right decision. I can’t wait to get up there and get after it.”
Follow Chad Courrier on Twitter @ChadCourrier.