OXFORD, Ohio – Miami University head men’s basketball coach Jack Owens announced the signing of three student-athletes to National Letters of Intent on Wednesday. Mekhi Lairy (Evansville, Indiana/Evansville Bosse), Elijah McNamara (Pickerington, Ohio/Pickerington North) and Myja White (Terre Haute, Indiana/Brebeuf Jesuit) will each begin play for the RedHawks in the 2018-19 season.
“We’re extremely excited about this class,” said Owens. “We’ve added skill at each position, and the good thing about it is each guy provides something different. With the guys that we have added this year there’s going to be a great mix, of skill, size and the ability to play. The shooting ability from all three guys is definitely the one thing that stood out to us.”
Lairy is a 5-7 guard who will be a four-year letterwinner for Evansville Bosse High School in Evansville, Indiana. As a junior, he was First-Team All-State, an Indiana Basketball Coaches Association Supreme 15 All-State selction and was a Core Junior Indiana All-Star. He led Bosse to a State Runner-Up finish as a sophomore in 2016. As a senior, Lairy could potentially break Bosse and the city of Evansville’s all-time scoring record.
“Mekhi is an extremely fast point guard,” said Owens. “We felt very fortunate to get him because he has a three dimensional game. He can catch and shoot, he can put it on the floor and he can get all the way to the rim. He also has mastered what I think is the lost art of the pull up. Mekhi’s been well coached by Shane Burkhart who does a great job (at Bosse) and he played on a very competitive AAU team, so we are looking for great things from him.”
McNamara is a 6-9 forward who is entering his fourth year of varsity play for Pickerington North High School in Pickerington, Ohio. As a junior he was named Second-Team All-OCC and selected Second-Team All-District. McNamara led North to their first District Finals appearance as a junior in 2017.
“Eli is a great gift for us, he’s a 6-9 kid who’s very skilled and whose best basketball is ahead of him,” said Owens. “We’re definitely excited about him because he can do a lot of different things on the court. He can pass, he can dribble, he can shoot, he can score on the block and he’s a guy that loves the game. He’s a late bloomer in my opinion who is going to continue to take off but we’re extremely excited about his potential, and his commitment to the game. His coach Jason Bates, does a great job with his guys as they’ve got one of the best teams in the state of Ohio.”
White is a 6-1 guard who is entering his fourth year of varsity play for Brebeuf Jesuit High School in Indianapolis, Ind. As a junior in 2017, he was named Honorable Mention All-State and All-Marion County. He averaged 14.0 points and 3.4 rebounds per game and shot 48 percent from behind the three-point line. White holds the Brebeuf record for most field goals made in a season.
“Myja is a big time shooter, he’s a guy that can stretch the defense with his catch and shoot ability,” said Owens. “But he’s more than just a shooter, he can make plays with the ball, in fact he might play a little point guard for his team this season. Myja is definitely a guy we’re extremely excited about because of his ability to stretch the defense and his ability to guard on defense. Coach (Todd) Howard does a great job with him, he was a Division I coach for a lot of years IUPUI, so (Myja’s) going to be ahead of the game and be able to compete right away.”
These three will not begin play until the 2018-19 season, but the 2017-18 RedHawks open the season this Friday when they travel to Fordham for a 7 p.m. tip.