Sanford School senior basketball forward Austin Ford recently signed a letter of intent to attend Kutztown University on a partial basketball scholarship.
The 6-foot-6, 210-pound Ford averaged 4 points per game and 5 rebounds per game in an injury-riddled campaign for the Warriors, who finished second in the state this past season, according to www.maxpreps.com.
The statistics for Ford during the 2012-2013 season were not jaw dropping but he contributed to Sanford's success with defensive skills against opposing big men, setting screens and other little things in his power forward position. In short, Ford impressed Kutztown enough with his physical size, raw ability and dribbling skills to tender the scholarship offer based on that potential.
He hurt his knee in October, a setback to be sure, but it just made Ford appreciate hard work and determination a little bit more as he worked to come back for his senior year.
In addition, Sanford was attempting to win its fourth straight boys basketball state championship this past season and Ford did not want to miss the chance to play in the title game. But the Warriors lost to Howard in the DIAA Boys Basketball Tournament championship game.
While that was a disappointment for Ford and his teammates, he was still part of two state championships after transferring to Sanford prior to his sophomore year.
"The first one, I didn't know what to do with myself," Ford said. "I was just happy. It didn't sink in until the ceremony [afterward] and the celebration. The second one, the whole season we were planning to win a state championship. I was very happy that we won but I wasn't as excited. We just expect to win and we're not really surprised when we do win."
Therefore, the loss in the 2013 championship was a bit of a jolt, Ford said.
"I'm not going to lie. I was crying a little bit," he said. "I did want to go out with a win. But in the locker room, coach Stan said no else did what we did. We made it to the championship game four straight years. We won three of them. That did help me recover from the loss a little bit, but I would have liked to have won."
Healthy gain, Ford said he looked forward to continuing his basketball career with the Golden Bears under coach Bernie Driscoll.
"You can look into his eyes and tell he's very loyal to his players," Ford said. "He wants to help the players make themselves better and he wants to see them grow into their senior year.
Page 2 of 2 - "Also, the PSAC Conference is one of the most physical conferences in Division II," he added. "I like being physical in the post; that's my game."
Sanford coach Stan Waterman said Kutztown would get not just a physical player in Ford but one with a high basketball IQ as well.
"They're getting a quality young with some fine leadership skills," he said. "He's just an overall good person and really knows how to play."