CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Virginia men’s basketball program has signed two student-athletes to National Letters of Intent, Dean and Markel Families Head Men’s Basketball Coach Tony Bennett announced Wednesday (Nov. 9). Blake Buchanan (Coeur d’Alene, Idaho/Lake City), and Elijah Gertrude (Jersey City, N.J./Hudson Catholic Regional) have signed NLIs and will join the Cavaliers for the 2023-24 season.
“We are excited to add these young men to our basketball program,” Bennett said. “Blake and Elijah are talented, competitive and high character individuals. They come from outstanding families and value a degree from the University of Virginia.”
Buchanan is a 6-10, 215-pound skilled forward who averaged 13 points and eight rebounds during his junior season at Lake City High School. He earned First Team All-State and All-League honors, and was the North Idaho Player of the Year after leading Lake City to a 23-3 record. Buchanan earned Defensive MVP honors at the 2022 Idaho state tournament. He was named First-Team All-State and First-Team All-State Tournament as a sophomore in 2020-21. Buchanan is ranked No. 74 in the On3 rankings.
“Blake became a highly sought-after player because of his mobility and versatility in the frontcourt,” Bennett said. “He is a competitive two-way forward who has a bright future at UVA.”
Gertrude is a 6-4, 180-pound athletic guard, who averaged 14.3 points as a junior for Hudson Catholic Regional High School. He earned All-State second-team honors and is a three-time All-Country first-team honoree. Gertrude is ranked No. 70 in the On3 rankings.
“Elijah caught the eye of so many schools because of his completeness and athleticism,” Bennett said. “He has enormous upside on both ends of the floor.”
The Cavaliers (1-0) host Monmouth in non-conference action on Friday, Nov. 11. Tipoff at John Paul Jones Arena is set for 9 p.m. on Regional Sports Networks.