Basketball: Gach returns to Austin to pick Utah
Published 4:16 pm Friday, June 1, 2018
With one of his biggest basketball dreams achieved, Both Gach wanted to go back to where it all started to make it official.
The former Packer, who played his senior season at Arizona Compass Prep this past season, was in back in Packer Gym on Friday as he made his commitment to play at the University of Utah with his twin brother Duoth and his old head coach Kris Fadness right next to him. Both is a four-star recruit and he will receive a full athletic scholarship at Utah.
“This is the gym where everything started. It’s where I used to watch the team play as a kid and it’s the gym where I had my first high school practice,” Both said. “I felt like [Utah] is a great place for me and hopefully we’ll have a good run. They had a player in Delon Wright who plays for the Toronto Raptors and they said they see me being like him or even better.”
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Both and Duoth’s older brother Gach Gach played in the Division II Final Four for West Texas A and M this past season and Duoth is likely to sign on to play at Division I NJCAA school.
“This is something we’ve been talking about ever since we were little kids,” Both said. “We always wanted to compete at the highest level against some of the best players in the country.”
The Utes are coached by Larry Krystowiak and they went 23-12 overall last season.
Fadness was surprised, but pleased when he found out Both was going to come back to make his college choice in Austin. Both was a starter as a freshman for the Packers and he started on the team that took second place in the Minnesota Class AAA State Boys Basketball Tournament in 2017.
“This was fabulous. It’s good for our program and it’s good for Both. His friends are here and it says a lot about him that he wants to come back and do it this in front of his family and friends,” Fadness said. “Utah has turned out multiple NBA guys and he’s got a chance to fulfill some real dreams here. He’s going to play in a great league and it gives him a chance to get better. Both has been very motivated from the beginning. When you’re getting up at six in the morning before school for workouts that tells you about the determination he’s had. I expect him to keep getting better and better and I’m really happy for him.”
Duoth, who helped led the Packers to a fourth place finish at the Class AAA state tournament this year, was proud to be next to Both has he made his decision. Duoth said the two kept in touch throughout the entire year.
“We still had our relationship and we talked every day,” Duoth said. “We messaged each other before our games and we stayed close. Today was an exciting moment and he chose the right school for him.”
Both said it was hard to walk away from Austin in the fall, but he felt like it was a decision that best prepared him for competing at the Division I level.
“It was a tough. I was leaving coach Fadness and a great program. We had a great situation going on here and a lot of people thought we could win state. With me leaving they had to turn it around and play some of the younger guys. It’s one of the hardest decisions I’ve had to make,” Both said. “I had to get my grades right for this to happen so I spent a lot of time at school. I also learned a lot about the game and what it takes to be a college point guard with pace and speed.”