Commentary

Austin leaves Texas for Storm

Updated: January 23, 2009, 4:18 PM ET
By James Quinn | ESPNRISE.com

Waverly Austin, a 6-foot-10 center, began the 2008-2009 academic school year at God's Academy (Forth Worth, Texas) before joining the Princeton Day Academy (Lanham, Md.) at midseason. The transfer was not Austin's first.

Austin previously attended Courtland High School (Spotsylvania, Va.) and Progressive Christian Academy (Temple Hills, Md.).

Austin opted to transfer to Princeton Day (PDA) midseason because the school met his academic needs and he has known head coach Van Whitfield for years.

"I've known Waverly for about two years," Whitfield said. "He is a good kid, a bright kid who always had a lot of talent but never really put it together on the floor as a player like he is doing for us right now. Waverly joined us about nine games into the season. He is averaging about 10 points, five rebounds, and three blocked shots a game since he joined us five games ago. He is a totally different player from the player he was a year ago, a lot better even then he was when he was up here (in the D.C. area) this summer."

"We have a very deep, balanced team here," Whitfield said. "Waverly could be averaging a lot more points and rebounds if we needed him to, but we are real deep and talented. He is playing the center position. That frees John Underwood to play some power forward."

Though Austin plays the post at PDA, Whitfield thinks his new big man could play some power forward at the college level.

"Depending on what school he goes to, he could be a forward, center, or play a little both. He is a legit 6-10 and he is pretty athletic and skilled. He isn't just a low post guy -- he can step out and hit the jumper. Waverly has a nice face-up game to play forward. He also has several good post moves that make him tough as a center."

Whitfield said that Austin's play for the Storm is starting to generate a wide range of college recruiting interest.

"He is hearing from schools as big as Florida State, as well as smaller schools. I think it is good that he is getting interest from all levels of colleges so that he can ultimately get into a situation that is best for him educationally, socially, and basketball-wise," Whitfield said. "Waverly really follows college basketball closely, he knows a lot about all the schools, coaches, what players they have. … He's really attuned to the college recruiting process. I hope he continues to get a lot of interest so he can get into an ideal situation in college."

James Quinn covers high school basketball for MDVarsity.com