Kats get forward from North Texas

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HUNTSVILLE, Texas -- Head coach Jason Hooten and the Sam Houston State men’s basketball team have made another addition to their squad for the 2019-20 season, bringing in transfer Mark Tikhonenko from North Texas.

The Bearkats claimed their first Southland Conference championship under Hooten during the 2018-19 season by going 21-12, their fifth 20-win campaign in the past six seasons. Sam Houston State also earned a berth to the postseason NIT.

Mark Tikhonenko • F • 6-10 • 240 • Moscow, Russia • Mt. Zion Prep / North Texas

Tikhonenko played in eight games for North Texas last season as a redshirt freshman before missing the rest of the year due to a foot injury. He averaged 2.3 points and 1.8 rebounds per game for the Mean Green.

He scored a season-high nine points and grabbed four rebounds in a win over Texas A&M-Commerce on Nov. 14.

“We are truly excited to add Mark with our last scholarship,” Hooten said. “Mark brings another skilled big man with versatility. He can really stretch the floor with his shooting and passing abilities. Mark also has Division I and international experience.”

Tikhonenko’s father, Valeri, won a gold medal with the Soviet Union national team in the 1988 Olympics and three silver medals at the world championships and was drafted by the Atlanta Hawks. Tikhonenko played for the Russian U-16 national team and practiced with the U-18 squad.
He played for Mt. Zion Prep in Lanham, Maryland for the 2016-17 season. Before that, Tikhonenko played at the Scotland Performance Institute in 2015-16, helping the team to a 19-11 record by averaging 16 points and six rebounds.