WALLA WALLA — Walla Walla Community College’s Case Rada will be departing campus a year early.
Rada, a freshman guard who lit up scoreboards around the NWAACC this past fall, signed a letter of intent today to play basketball for NCAA Division I Sacramento State.
“For Case this is kind of the realization of a life-long dream,” WWCC coach Jeff Reinland said. “He’s worked very hard through his developmental years to do this. It’s a pretty exciting time for him and for his family and it’s good for our program.”
But Rada’s early departure was a bittersweet moment for Reinland.
“Case has just been a great kid to coach,” he said. “We’d love to have him back, but when you get an opportunity like this it’s the wise thing to do to just move on and take it.”
Rada, a Burbank native who attended Kamiakin High School, was offered a scholarship by Sacramento State in high school but chose to walk on at Boise State instead.
But Rada suffered a foot injury his senior season of high school ball and decided to transfer to Walla Walla rather than take a redshirt.
As a Warrior, Rada led the NWAACC in scoring, averaging 23.96 points per game. he did most of his damage from the perimeter, shooting 36 percent (111-of-305) for the year from 3-point range and 38 percent (205-of-535) from the field.
The high point of the season for Rada came against Columbia Basin on Jan. 30th when the 6-foot-2 guard scored 41 points on 11 3-pointers and 14-of-21 shooting from the field to lead the Warriors to an 89-50 victory over the Hawks.
Rada scored 30 or more points five times last season.
He is fifth on the WWCC individual season scoring list with 671 points and sixth in scoring average.
“I had confidence in my game,” said Rada of his decision to transfer to Walla Walla rather than sit out a year. “Coach Reinland really helped me out with my game and helped me develop as a player.”
And just a year after being offered the first time, Sacramento State again offered Rada a full-ride scholarship.
This time he didn’t pass it up.
“Ever since I was a kid this was always my dream to play Division I college basketball,” Rada said, “so when I got the offer I decided to take it.”
Reinland, who knew Rada coming up through youth basketball, said Rada was a good fit for the Hornets.
“They were looking for a pretty dynamic shooting guard and Case fits that bill,” Reinland said of Sacramento State. “He definitely has the skillset and body type to play at that level.”