Del Oro grad earns Sooner hoop ride

By: Sara Seyydin, Gold Country News Service
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Casey Arent has committed to play basketball for the University of Oklahoma’s Lon Kruger next fall. Arent, a 6-10 center who graduated from Del Oro in 2008, has played the last two seasons at Sierra College. His decision came Saturday after he toured the campus in Norman, Okla. He announced his future stomping grounds Monday. “My biggest thing is Coach Kruger is really respected in the coaching community. He coached at Florida State, Kansas State and was a head coach in the NBA,” Arent said. “He also coached at (the University of Nevada, Las Vegas) and led all those teams to 20 and 30 game win seasons. I felt like I could be an impact player.” Arent said he knew the potential was there for him to make the transition to a Division I school when he was invited to Jerry Mullen’s Top 120 Junior College Showcase last July. Now 240 pounds, Arent has worked hard to put on 60 pounds since his freshman year. He said it was his Sierra College Coach John Fusano that gave him the confidence he needed to pursue playing at a higher level. “He’s always telling me it’s all me, but I have to give him a lot of the credit,” Arent said. “He has been there for me from year one — believed in me, pushed me and told me the sky is the limit.” Arent, who lives in Penryn, has been recruited by other schools, including the University of San Francisco. He said he sees Oklahoma as the best fit for him. “When I was there it felt like a big college in the middle of Penryn,” Arent said. “That’s what I love about it. I just felt comfortable. I’m pretty excited.” For Casey’s father, Ed Arent, years of buying gym memberships and basketball shoes have paid off. “It was really exciting,” Ed Arent said. “He’s a smart player. He is a good defensive player, has really good passing skills and is a tough kid.”