Minnesota Crookston men’s basketball announced the signing of forward Rafael Carton to a National Letter of Intent last Wednesday.

Carton, a 6'7, 230-pound forward from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain, joins Fargo, N.D. forward Hunter Lyman in the Golden Eagles' Class of 2020.

“I chose Minnesota Crookston because of the relationship I developed with Coach Weisse and the connection both of us felt from the first moment we talked,” said Carton in a release. “The first impression is really important and Coach Weisse made me feel wanted from the start. I had other Division II and two Division I programs interested in me, but the connection I felt with the coaching staff at Minnesota Crookston was the best fit for me.

"I believe one of the key attributes I bring to the team is my energy, whether I am playing, working out, or on the bench I have the same energy and am looking to encourage and lift up the team. On the court, I can help the team out with my three-point shooting, my ability to find the open guy for an easy bucket, and my rebounding ability. I am excited to be a Golden Eagle and to continue to improve my game under the coaching staff.”

“I am very excited to welcome Rafa to the Golden Eagle Basketball Family,” added head coach Dan Weisse. “He had his prep school career in Connecticut cut short with a family situation. However, in talking with his Westminster coaches and talking with his father it quickly became apparent that he is the type of guy I wanted in our program.

"He is energetic, he asks good questions, and is a team-first guy. As a player he can really stretch the floor, he can post up, he is a good passer and has great hands, and he can play multiple big positions. He is also a capable defender and rebounder, those are two things we must improve on as a team. He will be great in the locker room, on the floor, and he'll be a great ambassador for Golden Eagle athletics. I cannot wait to get him on campus.”

Carton joins a front-court that returns Ibu Jassey-Demba (Sr., F), who Carton previously played with in Spain.

Carton competed earlier this season at Westminster School, a prep school in Simsbury, Conn. He averaged 15 points, 10 rebounds, three assists, and 1.5 blocks per game for the Martlets. In addition, he won a Canarian Championship in 2019.

Carton plans to major in Business and Sports and Rec Management. He played tennis until he was 14, and has been playing basketball since age four.

Carton's uncle plays Padel, a racquet sport popular in Spain, and won a Padel Championship and competes for the Madrid Padel National Team. In addition, his mother was a professional ballet dancer at the Classical National Ballet of Spain from 1984-90, and is now a well-known ballet teacher in the Canary Islands.

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