Kapaun’s Henry Thengvall joins Wichita State basketball

Kapaun Mt.  Carmel senior Henry Thengvall averaged 20.2 points to help the Crusaders to an unbeaten City League championship.

Kapaun Mt. Carmel senior Henry Thengvall averaged 20.2 points to help the Crusaders to an unbeaten City League championship.

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The Wichita State men’s basketball team is adding something more local to the upcoming season.

Wichita native Henry Thengvall, a 6-foot-6 senior at Kapaun Mt. Carmel, announced on his social media on Tuesday that he is committed to joining Shockers. He told The Eagle that he would join the program as a favorite walk-on.

Thengvall is the third Wichita native to currently be included in next year’s WSU list, joining the newly hired Xavier Bell, a former Andover Central standout who moves in from Drexel, and fellow walk-on Steele Gaston-Chapman, a former Campus standout.

For a lifelong Shocker fan, wearing the Wichita State jersey will mean a little more to him.

“I’ve been dreaming about this since I saw them as a little kid,” Thengvall said. “It’s going to be so great. The chance to stay home close to my family and be in addition to this team and play D1 basketball, it was a pretty obvious choice for me. There was no way I could turn it down.”

Thengvall is fresh on a breakout season in Kapaun, where he averaged 20.2 points and 5.4 rebounds, while shooting 44% from the floor and 86% from the foul line. He was the most dynamic player on a team that won an undefeated City League championship, finishing with a record of 21-2 and getting seed No. 1 at the Class 5A state tournament.

He also recently received all-class, all-state honors from The Eagle, earning him the honor of being one of the top five players in Kansas high school basketball this past season.

“He’s a gymnastics rat,” Kapaun coach Steve Eck said. “We would not have been undefeated in the league if it were not for him. He helped us in some key games. He used to save his best for the best matches.”

Being a gymnastic rat who will bring energy every day to training is exactly what head coach Isaac Brown is looking for in a walk-on to his program. Thengvall, who attracted Division II interest, fit the bill, can offer WSU a shooter in a 6-6 frame that will never slacken in effort and bring intensity to the defensive end.

He wants to be a valuable member of the scout team to help starters and the rest of his WSU teammates improve in practice when he joins the team for training in June.

“I think I owe it to myself and everyone who has supported me to work as hard as I can every single day and help the team,” said Thengvall. “I want to play hard every single game. It will be a huge honor to play in Wichita State and I can not wait to see what we can accomplish.”

It was important for Brown to add depth to the lineup after only having 13 players with him, including two red shirts and a walk-on, this past season.

Shockers currently has commitments from returning in senior point guard Craig Porter, sophomore center Kenny Pohto and both redshirt freshmen, Jalen Ricks and Isaac Abide. Sophomore star Ricky Council IV is also potentially returning from the NBA Draft. Bell is currently the only scholarship player in WSU’s 2022 recruitment class, which will include at least eight scholarships available.

“He can shoot it, he can run it a little bit, he has a certain size, and he got a lot harder this year,” Eck said. “I think he can help them do some things and that’s why he’s going there. I’ve known Coach Brown for a long time and he’s a great guy and I told Henry it would be a good situation. “

Thengvall was a three-sport athlete in Kapaun, where he also played football in the fall and is currently one of the state’s best middle distance runners on the athletics team. He finished third in the 800-meter dash at the Class 5A State Track Show last spring.

In fact, he told The Eagle that he planned to accept a scholarship offer to run at Creighton before Brown expanded the offer as a preferred walk-on this week.

“I had a few opportunities to run tracks, but basketball is my first love,” Thengvall said. “I’ve been holding out to see if the right fit in basketball took place. Wichita State has such a great history and is a great program so I could not dismiss it. No way.”

This story was originally published April 12, 2022 4:18 PM.

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Wichita State athletics beat reporter. Brings you closer to the Shockers you love and within the sports you love to watch.

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