After four long years in purple and gold, Jordan West will need to find some room in his wardrobe for some red and white. The four-year basketball starter signed a letter of intent to play his college ball at Otterbein Wednesday afternoon.
“It just felt like a home away from home,” West said. “It was just the perfect scenario for me.”
West, who earned second team All-District honors for his part in the Indians’ Elite 8 run in the state tournament, chose Otterbein over Marshall and Marietta.
“Their coach (Tom Herrion) isn’t there anymore, and that played a really big part,” said West of Marshall’s offer. “But, I would have chosen Otterbein anyway.”
A versatile player with the ability to play both guard and forward, Otterbein head coach Todd Adrian is excited to have West on his squad.
“He’s sound fundamentally,” Adrian said. “He’s a good kid, a hard worker and wants to get better.”
Adrian is particularly impressed with West’s ability to stretch the defense with his shooting ability.
“He can really shoot the ball,” Adrian said. “He’s got a really nice shot, not just from beyond the three point line, but even a step past that.”
After coaching him for four years, Valley coach Scott Rolfe was most impressed with the way West improved other facets of his game.
“One of the biggest things he made a commitment to this year was doing a better job at rebounding and playing some defense,” Rolfe said.
But it’s West’s offensive production and leadership that Rolfe is going to miss the most.
“(He) was within 50 points of being a thousand-point scorer,” Rolfe said. “That’s a lot of points to replace. Our work is going to be cut out for us to replace the eight seniors that are leaving us.”
Though he’ll only be a freshman, Adrian hopes West’s four years of starting experience will give him an edge at the next level.
“Those are the kind of guys that we want: Guys that are used to being in the limelight and being under pressure,” he said. “He’s going to have to learn to be a freshman again, but right now, we’re looking for guys to compete and I think he does that.”
West’s signing comes just a week after teammate Hayden Dunn signed with Ohio Christian. Located just an hour from each other, it’s likely that West and Dunn will share the court again, only as opponents.
“It’ll be weird wearing different jerseys for the first time since fifth grade,” West said. “He’s a really great player and playing against him will be fun.”
West hopes to be remembered at Valley not only as a standout player, but also as a great teammate. He says he wants to be remembered as a “really good team player” who “stepped outside of his boundaries” for the good of the team.
“I just always tried to do what the team needed,” he said.
Alex Hider can be reached at 353-3101, ext 294, or on Twitter @ahider.