CEDAR FALLS — Cedar Falls High made a major contribution to the future of University of Northern Iowa athletics Wednesday.
On the first day of the November signing period, five Tiger standouts cemented their commitments to the Panthers by inking their national letters of intent.
That group starts with consensus top-100 national basketball recruit A.J. Green and also features the Tiger girls’ basketball trio of Kiana Barney, Cynthia Wolf and Kamryn Finley and volleyball standout Tayah Mahi.
Green is ranked 77th by both ESPN and 247Sports and No. 88 by overall by Rivals in the 2018 recruiting class. The 6-foot-4, 175-pound guard averaged 21.5 points per game and connected on more than 43 percent of his 3-point attempts last year.
He’s scored 1,120 points in the first three seasons of his high school career.
“A.J. has a tremendous work ethic and drive to be the absolute best. It has been a lot of fun watching him work and grow as player over the course of all these years,” UNI coach Ben Jacobson said in a release.
“In A.J., we are getting a player who knows our program, comes in with lofty goals and has made himself one of the best players in the country. Most importantly we are getting a terrific young guy.”
Green, who also played AAU basketball for the Iowa Barnstormers, is the son of Panther assistant coach Kyle Green.
Barney, Wolf and Finley have been teammates for the Iowa Barnstormer AAU team and are preparing for their first season together at Cedar Falls High after Finley moved from Marion.
Barney was a second-team all-stater and was named All-USA Iowa honorable mention after averaging 13.3 points and 5.1 rebounds for the Tigers’ state runner-up team a year ago.
Wolf was a third-team all-state selection who averaged 11.8 points and 6.8 rebounds for the deep and balanced Tigers. Finley also made the all-state third team last year and has averaged double-figure points the past two seasons.
“What a great day for our women’s basketball program,” said UNI head coach Tanya Warren. “They are a perfect fit for what we are looking for on and off the court.”
Mahi is an all-state setter for Cedar Falls’ highly successful volleyball squad. She has 987 assists this season (10.28 per set), 197 digs (2.05 per set), 27 total blocks, serves at 96 percent with 34 aces and has 108 kills at .433 efficiency.
WRESTLING: UNI head coach Doug Schwab signed national Top 15 wrestler and two-time high school champion Michael Blockhus of New Hampton.
Blockhus is ranked 15th at 138 pounds by Intermat, 19th by FloWrestling and is No. 4 on IA Wrestle’s Preseason Fab50. He won his first state title as a freshman at 106 pounds in 2015, finished second as a sophomore and won last season at 126 pounds. He also won both the Greco-Roman and freestyle divisions of the 2017 Iowa/USA Junior State Championships.
MORE SIGNINGS: Three more members of Cedar Falls’ volleyball team signed with Division I volleyball programs Wednesday.
Grace Burken is headed to Wichita State, Claire Gerdes to South Dakota and Taylor Lynch to Illinois State. In addition, Tiger Molly Rygh signed with the University of Iowa women’s rowing program.