Man High School’s Austin Ball seems destined to play basketball at the next level.
Ball, a 6-foot-7 rising senior, received his first Division I offer recently from Drexel University.
“Very blessed to receive my first D1 offer from Coach Spiker at Drexel. Thank you for the opportunity,” Ball said on his Twitter page.
Ball averaged 19.5 points a game this season and led Man to the Class A state championship in May, the first ever state crown in hoops for the Hillbillies.
At season’s end, Ball was voted captain of the Class A All-State Team by the West Virginia Sports Writers Association.
Ball led Man to a historic Class A state championship on May 8 as the Hillbillies defeated Pendleton County, 43-36, in the state finals at the Charleston Coliseum.
Ball was named to the All-Tournament team as he averaged 24 points per game. He scored the most points (72) of any player in the Class A state tourney field.
Ball finished off Man’s state championship win with an exclamation point slam dunk with 11 seconds left as the Billies closed out on an 11-0 run. He had 20 points and six rebounds in the state title game.
Ball also led Man to wins over Webster County (81-54) and Tucker County (74-34) in the state tourney as the Billies finished with a 16-2 record this season. He had 27 points and 13 rebounds in the win over Tucker and 25 points vs. Webster.
He also reached 1,000 points for his career during the state tournament and is on track next season to surpass Man High School’s all-time scoring record by Jordan Simpson.
Man coach TJ Blevins had previously stated that Wisconsin of the Big Ten Conference and also Division I Mount St. Marys and Stetson had also expressed interest in Ball as well as several Division II schools.
More offers are likely to follow.
Ball has one season left with the Hillbillies next season.
“His future is beyond bright,” Blevins said in a previous interview.
Ball is listed as a center and is the tallest of the Man players, but he can also play any of the other four positions, including the back court.
A big man that can step out and shoot 3-pointers, Ball presents major matchup problems for opponents.
“He’s very versatile. If we get in trouble he can bring the ball up the floor for us anytime,” Blevins said. “I have to list him as the center because I like the old way of having two guards, two forwards and a center but he can play the one through five positions.”
In AAU ball, Ball often plays at the two guard or small forward positions.
“He plays a lot of AAU ball and plays in a lot of AAU tournaments,” Blevins said. “They play him at the two or the three because he’s got taller players around him. If he steps out and they don’t pull out on him he will knock it down. He really excelled this summer in those AAU tournaments.
“In college, he will be a two or a three. I gave him the green light this year. I told him that when he gets the ball to do what you do. He’s dunking the stuff out of the basketball … left-handed, right-handed, reverse.”
Ball has stayed busy in AAU. He scored 35 points over the weekend in the CBG Grassroots Memorial Showcase.
Drexel, located in Philadelphia, plays in the Colonial Athletic Association.
The Dragons have made nine NCAA Tournament appearances, with the last one being this year as Drexel lost 78-49 to top seed Illinois in the first round.
Drexel advanced to the NIT quarterfinals in 2012.