Ottawa High School senior standout Alex Hasty could not imagine himself playing basketball anywhere else but in Ottawa.
He had connections with the Ottawa University men’s program with his brother Adam on the team and older brother, Austin, was a manager the past two seasons.
Hasty said the opportunity was too great to pass up. He signed with the Braves Wednesday in the Ottawa High School library.
“It is a start of another beginning,” Hasty said. “It is a relief to finally sign. I made my decision a long time ago. I can look forward to next season.”
For Braves coach Andy Carrier, this signing meant a lot to the program.
“This is a great signing for us,” Carrier said. “We are keeping a player in town.
“He has a big upside. He will keep getting better and better. We are thrilled to have him join us.”
Hasty said there were several reasons why he chose to stay home.
“Having family close and Adam is playing there,” he said. “I could not see myself playing anywhere else. The environment ... it all made sense.
“It is a good fit. I don’t want to be on a team where you are not allowed to shoot the ball ... not allowed to have freedoms. The coaching style of Carrier is laid back. It opens up a lot of room to grow.”
Brother Adam, a former Cyclone all-state player, will be a junior next season. He is the returning starter at point guard.
The brothers discussed him joining the Braves last summer.
“We both wanted to play together in college,” Hasty said. “I did not want to pass that up. It will be fun ... like old times. We need to savor the moment. It is a rare opportunity to do it again.”
The two played together in high school for one season. They helped lead the Cyclones to a state runner-up finish.
Carrier sees Hasty fitting in with the Braves and has the talent to adjust to the college game.
“He is an extremely athletic wing,” Carrier said. “He is so long. He is great in the open floor game. He runs, blocks shots, makes plays in the open floor. He will get you some rebounds.
“He has a chance to challenge for time. He is a great freshman coming into our program.
The coach said it will nice to see the Hasty brothers on the floor together again, this time in a Braves uniform.
“That will be fun for them to have a chance to play again together,” Carrier said. “I think they have a chance to be on the floor together.
“They have not since high school. They are completely different players. They don’t have to compete for time against each other.”
Hasty said having Adam around will help his transition from high school to college basketball.
Another big key is the younger Hasty can play with and against college players all summer.
“He has been to our open gyms,” Carrier said. “He is going to get better because he will play against college guys on a daily basis. It will be fun watch him progress. He has a chance to be really good.”
One area of improvement is adding muscle to the younger Hasty’s 6-foot-4 lean frame.
“We are hoping to add some bulk and strength,” Carrier said. “Hopefully, we can speed up the release on his jump shot and get it more consistent.”
Carrier said Hasty, who will play in the KBCA All-Star game in August, is part of a good recruiting class.
This week the Braves signed 6-6 forward Logan Bullinger, who played for Wichita’s Bishop Carroll.
“We are starting to piece together a pretty solid freshman class,” Carrier said. “We have some length and athleticism. Alex will be a part of that next wave to hopefully keep our program consistent.”