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Saturday, January 12, 2013 8:00 AM

Photo by Matt Bristow/The Ottawa Herald


Ottawa’s Hasty brothers — Austin, Adam and Alex — are siblings dedicated to basketball. The trio played the game in their driveway since childhood and continued the tradition into high school and at the college level. “For the six years I have been [at Ottawa High School] I’ve had a Hasty playing, and for most of the time, there has been two of them starting with Austin and Adam,” Jon McKowen, OHS boys basketball coach, said. “They have been a huge part of the success over the six years.”

Hasty Hoops: Brothers net basketball legacy

By CHRIS DUDERSTADT, Herald Staff Writer

In Jon McKowen’s six seasons as Ottawa High School boys basketball coach, one element has remained constant in boosting the team’s success: a Hasty brother.

Adam, Alex and Austin Hasty each have been part of the Cyclones’ best stretch in school history, which has included five consecutive appearances at the Kansas 4A state tournament and a perfect 10-0 start for the season.

“For the six years I have been here, I’ve had a Hasty playing. And for most of the time, there has been two of them starting with Austin and Adam,” McKowen said. “They have been a huge part of the success over the six years, not just with their playing abilities on the floor, but then as people off the floor and in anything that we are doing.

“It starts with a great family and Steve and Anne [Hasty],” he said. “The values and morals they pushed on to their kids really show. All three of [the Hasty boys] have just been amazing leaders.”

The slasher

Alex, a senior at OHS, is the last of the Hasty brothers to play with the Cyclones under McKowen’s leadership. The 6-foot, 4-inch small forward is second on the OHS all-time blocks list. While Alex has been a force on defense, McKowen said, he likes how his skills have been developing on the offensive end as well.

“Alex is more of a slasher,” McKowen said. “He is more of a get-to-the-bucket player. He appeared to be quite a bit taller than the other two and is kind of lanky and athletic and is really, really good around the hoop. He’s learning to shoot it.”

After being a part of three straight 4A state runner-up teams, Alex said he wants to end his Cyclones career with a bang.

“I only have one goal, and that is to win a state championship,” Alex said.

Although Alex will graduate from OHS in the spring, he said he is leaning toward continuing his basketball career in his hometown. Alex has been thinking about reuniting with Adam next year at Ottawa University to play for Braves head coach Andy Carrier.

“Not only just staying home in Ottawa, but obviously having Adam at OU is the huge part because even if another team is offering me better than OU, I’m still probably going to pick OU just because the chemistry is there,” Alex said. “Just playing with your brother in high school and college rarely happens, and it has always been fun playing with each other just because of the chemistry. It is just great having your brother on the floor with you.”

The balanced one

Adam is in his second season with the Braves after transferring from Wichita State University last winter. Adam went to walk on for the Shockers after finishing as the Cyclones’ all-time leader in three different categories. He finished his high school career with 356 steals, 190 3-pointers and 629 assists, and finished second in OHS history in points with 1,337, trailing only current OHS senior Semi Ojeleye.

“He was the balanced one,” McKowen said. “He was one of the best ball-handlers I’ve ever seen at the high school level, and it has really transferred on to the college side. He shot it well above average and was just an amazing passer. He was the true point guard where he was pass first, score second.”

While Adam had the opportunity to play with Alex for two seasons at OHS, he also got the chance to team up with Austin for two seasons as well.

“Austin and Alex never got the chance to play with each other, but with being the middle child, I got the chance to play with them both,” Adam said. “It is a really different feeling playing with somebody you live with or played with in the driveway for 15 or 16 years. It’s a lot of fun really.”

As the hours of practice in his backyard as a youth translated to success early and often in his career at OHS, Adam is starting to find a comfort zone on the Braves’ roster as well. His confidence has been building in the middle of his sophomore season as he recorded a career-high 20 points against Tabor College Jan. 3 in Hillsboro.

Adam said he thinks the Ottawa community has helped him since returning to his hometown and joining the Braves.

“It is a great experience that a lot of people do not really get to go through,” Adam said. “Ever since day one of playing little league basketball, the fan support here is great and I’ve been blessed with being surrounded by a lot of great people and great fan base. I’ve had several parents watch me at the college level now that used to watch me in high school.”

The motivator

Adam isn’t the only Hasty currently attending OU. Older brother Austin is a senior at the university and is student assistant of the men’s basketball team.

“Me and him still talk about the game even while the game is going on,” Austin said. “When he comes and sits on the bench, we always sit together.”

Austin has not played basketball in college, but he did earn his way on to the OHS varsity squad during his junior and senior seasons with the Cyclones.

“Austin was a great leader and motivator,” McKowen said. “Verbally, he was able to get kids to work hard and he didn’t have the biggest role as a basketball player. To be a leader coming off the bench is very difficult to do, but he was able to do it.”

Austin’s best game as a Cyclone came in a 2009 substate game against Iola High School when he scored a career-high 15 points to go along with Adam’s game-high 18 to boost OHS to a 79-31 victory.

“It was our first sub-state game,” Austin said. “Iola wasn’t really that good, but the fact that me and Adam were on the same page the whole game and scored like that ... It was definitely a good game.”

Austin is set to graduate from OU in the spring, but he said he will try to attend basketball games next season when he gets the chance, so he can watch Adam, and possibly, Alex suit up for the Braves. Austin said he is not sure if he wants to pursue a career in coaching, but he is certain he wants to keep basketball in his life.

“I believe all of them will be very, very successful in whatever they choose after college,” McKowen said.

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