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Penn State Basketball has Reached out to DII Player of the Year RJ Sunahara

Photo by Penn State Athletics: Mike Rhoades

Penn State basketball has reached out to reigning Division II Player of the Year RJ Sunahara, Sunahara told Nittany Sports Now via Twitter direct message Tuesday morning.

Sunahara (6-foot-8) averaged 18.9 points, 5.4 rebounds and 2.5 assists for Nova Southeastern University last season, and not only earned Player of the Year, but led the team to a 36-0 record and national championship as well.

He’s also a stout defensive player, holding Nova Southeastern’s single-season (76) and career (172) records for blocks and also holds the career record for free-throws at Nova Southeastern (342).

Sunahara is second on the school’s all-time scoring list with 1,579 points and in field goals with 594. His 585 rebounds rank sixth on the school’s all-time list.

Sunahara has also heard from schools such as Dayton, Georgia, Notre Dame (coached by former Penn State boss Micah Shrewsberry), VCU and West Virginia.

He started his college basketball career in the 2018-19 season, redshirting at DII Fairmont State for current Boston Celtics’ head coach Joe Mazzulla. After transferring to Nova Southeastern,  Sunahara won the Sunshine State Conference’s Player of the Year, averaging 12.8 points, 7.2 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game.

The 2020-21 season never happened due to COVID-19, but Sunahara was ready to go the next year. He became a third-team All-American, averaging a career-best 19.5 points per game and adding 6.7 rebounds and 2.5 blocks.

Penn State and its new coach, Mike Rhoades, have landed five transfers thus far. A-10 Player of the Year Ace Baldwin and Nick Kern came with Rhoades from VCU. 6-foot-8 sharpshooter Zach Hicks came from Temple. Pittsburgh-area native Puff Johnson returned to PA after three seasons at North Carolina and, most recently, 6-foot-11 Qudus Wahab came in from Georgetown.

Sunahara would be the first DII transfer to come to Penn State from this cycle, and whichever school gets him will get a player with two years of eligibility left.

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