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We first caught up with Sahuaro forward Nate Renfro back in early December of 2012. He was a tall and dominant player who seemed to have incredible ball-handling skills for his size. It would take a few months for the rest of the Tucson media to catch on to this talent but he was already on the recruitment radar.
According to his mother, Jeanne Hanford, Nate was being watched by at least two dozen schools at the time including Cal Poly, Colgate, Harvard, Loyola Marymount, Portland, Santa Clara and Weber State along with programs that had already made him offers including Northern Colorado, NAU and Grand Canyon.
Nate would eventually commit and sign with Dan Majerle and Grand Canyon.
Unfortunately, we also brought you the news of Majerle forcing Renfro to sign a release from his commitment with no direct explanation from Majerle to Nate or to his family.
(A comment request from Grand Canyon has yet to be returned.)
And now we are happy to be the first to report on Nate’s commitment to play for the University of San Francisco. It was a decision Nate made this morning.
“It was a tough decision,” explained Hanford. “The coaches of Cal-State Fullerton and San Francisco were vested in him and they personally took the time to show Nate around campus.
“Both schools had so much to offer and we told him he couldn’t go wrong either way. He ultimately chose San Francisco after scrimmaging with the team. He felt there were mentors there who could help take him to the next level.”
Of course, having former Amphitheater standout Tim Derksen on the roster helped out a lot in the decision process.
“Having Tim there was definitely a deciding factor, added Hanford. “He took Nate in like a brother and helped him out.”
Renfro is expected to earn some playing time this fall according to the family. Nate is the third oldest of 11 siblings. According to his mother, there is a younger brother who is playing club ball right now.
Nate grew from 5-foot-8 as a freshman at Sahuaro to 6-6 a year later. Now, there’s no telling how much his game will grow.
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Andy Morales was recognized by the AIA as the top high school reporter in 2014 and has been a youth, high school and college coach for over 30 years. His own children have won multiple state high school championships and were named to all-state teams. Competing in hockey, basketball, baseball and track & field in high school, his unique perspective can only be found here, on AZPreps365.com and on the pages of the Vail Voice and the Tanque Verde Voice. Contact Andy Morales at AMoralesMyTucson@yahoo.com