|5/16/2014 10:51:00 AM|
Ottawa's Carroll to play basketball at Wesleyan
|Ottawa senior John Carroll (seated, center) announced during a commitment ceremony last week that he will play basketball at Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington. Also at the ceremony were his mother Lynn (seated, left), father Brett (seated, right), grandmother Mary (standing, right) and Ottawa boys basketball coach Mark Cooper. |
NewsTribune photo/Jared Bell
OTTAWA — John Carroll wasn’t in a rush.
Even after having a successful basketball season that saw him named the 2013-14 NewsTribune Boys Basketball Player of the Year, the Ottawa senior took his time when selecting a college.
Nearly a month after the Pirates’ season ended, Carroll was still talking to coaches and visiting college campuses.
Last week, Carroll let his decision be known as he announced during a commitment ceremony that he will play at Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington.
“It’s definitely exciting, and it also kind of gets the weight off your back of worrying where you’re going to go,” Carroll said. “It’s nice to know where I’m going next year and being able to focus on that.”
Carroll also considered Augustana College, IVCC and Millikin University.
Carroll — who expects to play as a forward at IWU — joins a Titan program that last season went 27-5 overall, was 12-2 in the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin and lost in the NCAA Division III national semifinals.
“I already knew they had a great program and great academics, and when I went on my visit I got to be around some of the other players and they were all fantastic,” Carroll said.
In his senior season, Carroll became the first Ottawa player to be named NT Boys Basketball POY.
Carroll averaged 20.6 points and 7 rebounds per game, was the unanimous NIB 12 West MVP and helped Ottawa to a 24-2 record, a 21-game winning streak and the program’s first outright conference title since 1988.
“John’s been a big part of Ottawa basketball the past four years,” Ottawa coach Mark Cooper said. “He’s been a stabilizing force for us the last three years on varsity, and he’s leaving Ottawa High School having had an outstanding prep career.
“From a skill standpoint, John is CCIW ready. The biggest thing is becoming stronger to battle the physicality of the college game. But even at the college level, John has position flexibility offensively. He’s a hybrid player.”
Jared Bell can be reached at 220-6938, or at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @NT_SportsJared.
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