Merder chooses Huntington

LINCOLN CITY — It wasn’t until this past summer that Heritage Hills senior Devon Merder first heard from coaches of the Huntington University basketball team. But soon after he did, the versatile guard-forward drove up with his dad, Dean, to practice with the Foresters on Aug. 18.

Despite getting his first two jumpers “swatted back in my face” in the scrimmage, Merder recalled, everything felt right about the 1,200-student Christian college near Fort Wayne.


“Every time someone would ask me about where I wanted to go, the answer always came back to Huntington,” Merder said.

Merder signed Wednesday to play basketball for Huntington and head coach Ty Platt. The Foresters are 9-0 this season in the NAIA’s Division II.

Merder also considered three Illinois schools — McKendree and Aurora universities and Elmhurst College — but opted for Huntington for several reasons: academic prestige, internship availability, an opportunity to further his faith and a coaching staff that he can “be able to go to … for anything I need,” Merder said.

“It’s a family atmosphere there,” said Merder, the son of Dean and Donna Merder of Santa Claus. “I feel like, going to Huntington, I’m going to have four extra dads in my life because all four of (the coaches), they’re always going to be there for me and I already know that.”

For now, Merder said the plan is probably to study either sports management or business management, but his career goal remains to become a basketball coach.

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