2017-08-09 / Sports

Chip Shots

by Jim Buzzerd
Early offer

While attending the West Virginia Press Association convention last weekend I happened to pick up a complimentary copy of Saturday’s Charleston Gazette-Mail. I turned to the sports section and saw an article on a high school football player from Logan, West Virginia. That’s when it dawned on me that I have yet to mention the name David Early in this space. Many of you may have heard of the Logan sophomore who started at quarterback on the Wildcat’s football team and at point guard on the basketball team last season as a 14-yearold freshman.

Oh, by the way, now a 15 year old, Early stands at 6-3, maybe 6-4 and weighs in at 230 pounds. While Early is expected to do a great deal for the Logan football team this fall, it is basketball that is his first love and it is basketball where reportedly already has scholarship offers from West Virginia and Marshall.

“I consider myself number one to be a basketball player,’’ Early said, but that hasn’t kept Virginia Tech from trying to talk to him about playing football. Those conversations haven’t happened since Early was busy on the AAU Basketball circuit this summer and didn’t make it to Blacksburg. Early, though, seems intent on playing basketball at the next level, so much so that his football coach, James Toth, conceded that it was unclear if Early was even going to hit the gridiron this season.

It’s become quite common for top high school basketball prospects to leave their hometowns and head to a basketball academy like Oak Hill to improve their games against the top teams and players in the country. I have no idea if a move like this is in Early’s future, but he is the type of prospect whom doors would be open for. As a freshman at Logan last season, Early averaged 19.9 points per game for the 14-10 Wildcats.

If you’re curious and want to see Early’s freshman highlights I know there is at least one clip on YouTube. I would highly recommend searching for it. At first glance you’ll likely think he’s a little too thick to be a point guard. He looks a little overweight in the video I saw, but recent photos suggest his weight is being redistributed. He is only 15 and who knows what size he’ll be in 2020 when he enters college.

Which brings us to the second thing you’ll notice about Early, which is his perfect shooting stroke. The video opened with him driving to the basket finishing with a slam-dunk, but the bulk of the video was Early shooting high arching three point shots. My favorite was a fall away 23-footer swishing at the buzzer in a game. That’s a lot of range for a high school kid, let alone a freshman.

For a big guy, Early handles the point just fine, there is a wicked behind the back pass to a teammate who couldn’t convert, but the pass was sweet. Who knows what position he’ll play at the next level? I wouldn’t bet against him playing all five at some point.

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