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Nancy Rehm/ Border Wars
What: Indiana vs. Ohio basketball all-stars
Where: Saint Francis
When: Today
Times: 2 p.m. girls; 4:15 p.m. boys
Admission: $5 per person; $2 high school students and younger
Jeremy Wadsworth | Toledo Blade
Mark Donnal, right, a Michigan recruit, will bring versatility to the Ohio team at the Nancy Rehm/Border Wars Classic today.

Michigan recruit gives Ohio height, versatility

– Mark Donnal went to the NCAA tournament men’s Final Four in Atlanta this year and liked what he saw despite Michigan coming up short in the national title game against Louisville.

A Michigan recruit, Donnal said he is excited about joining the Wolverines.

“I am really excited to get to work and be a part of a special program like that,” said Donnal, a senior at Anthony Wayne High School in Whitehouse, Ohio.

“They had a great run. They were one game short, but with the way they were playing all year you knew they were capable of making a national championship run. It was fun to watch that.”

Before heading to Ann Arbor, Donnal will be part of the Ohio All-Stars as they face Team Indiana today at Saint Francis in the 21st annual Nancy Rehm/Border Wars Classic.

A 6-foot-10, 215-pound forward/center, Donnal earned the all-star status by averaging 18.2 points and 10.4 rebounds last season for Anthony Wayne.

A four-year varsity player for the Generals, Donnal had 1,341 career points and 705 career rebounds and was named All-District 7 and second-team All-Ohio.

“He is real versatile,” Ohio boys coach Brian Voorst said. “He can step out on the perimeter and shoot it well, and he can handle it well. He has really good touch around the basket.

“For a big guy, he has a nice touch. I think he will fit into that Michigan system real well.”

Donnal committed to the Wolverines on June 15, 2011, the same day as Canterbury’s Austin Hatch.

Hatch, though, was injured in an airplane crash soon after and hasn’t been the same physically since.

In fact, Hatch hasn’t played for Canterbury the last two years and was given an extra year of eligibility, making him a junior this year.

“We have kept in touch the past couple of years having committed the same day that I did,” Donnal said of Hatch. “I have seen him a little bit now and then in Ann Arbor and have talked to him.

“I know he has made a lot of progress so far. I have seen him a few times since the accident, and he has put on weight, and you can tell his speech has improved. I hope he can get back to the way he was.”

Anthony Wayne went 20-5 this past season after going 1-20 in Donnal’s freshman season.

While coaching at Rossford High School , Voorst got a chance to coach against Donnal’s teams when they were in the same conference.

“What surprised me was how athletic he was,” Voorst said of watching Donnal in practices for Team Ohio.

“He is not a 6-10 blob. He is an athlete out there.

“They had a real nice team, and they had some guards who could shoot it, which they didn’t have in the past. He was the best player in their league.”

Along with Donnal, the Ohio team has 6-10 Zach Graber, a Toledo recruit from Vanlue High School.

“Talking to the coaches, they are saying how big of a deal it is, and it is a ‘border war’ and not to take it lightly,” Donnal said of today’s all-star game.

“It should be a pretty competitive game, so I am excited about that.”

gjones@jg.net

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