Prep Basketball: Last-minute change of plans leads Danville's Ford to Kentucky State
Danville graduate Tryston Ford, the Advocate's Male Athlete of the Year for the 2011-12 school year, enrolled at Kentucky State shortly before the start of classes and will play basketball for the Thorobreds after originally signing with a North Carolina school. (Clay Jackson / September 7, 2012)
A last-minute change of plans redirected the former Danville star to Kentucky State University rather than to the North Carolina school he though he would be attending.
And he said he’s happy to get to play basketball in his backyard — and to be able to come home for things like Danville football games.
“I like it that I’m close to home,” Ford said. “I’ve been coming home every weekend so far, and I’ve been going to watch the football team. I’ve still got a lot of friends on that team.”
Ford said he’s also looking forward to competing for playing time at Kentucky State, an NCAA Division II school.
“Right now we’re kind of heavy at the guard spot, and there’s no guarantee I’ll be starting. But I’m going to come in and do my job and bring the team heart and dedication and see where it lands me,” Ford said. “When it comes to playing time, whether I’ve got a starting position or I’m coming off the bench, I’m going to try to contribute as much as I can.”
Ford, a three-sport standout at Danville, was named the Advocate’s Male Athlete of the Year in May and the Advocate’s Area Boys Basketball Player of the Year in March after averaging 18 points and three assists for the Admirals.
He was ready to pack his bags a few weeks ago after signing with St. Augustine’s, a Division II school in Raleigh, N.C., about six weeks ago. However, he said he was told soon after his signing that the program had run out of scholarships, and he said the coach offered to send him to a nearby prep school for a year before giving him a scholarship for 2013-14.
He declined that offer, but he knew his options were limited as the calendar turned to August.
“I had to find somewhere that would let me come real quick because I was running out of time,” Ford said.
He found Kentucky State thanks to a family connection. A cousin, Jerome Givens, is an assistant coach at the Frankfort school, and Givens contacted Ford’s father to arrange a visit.
Ford was granted a roster spot about a week before the fall semester started, and by the first week of classes he was playing in nightly pickup games with his new teammates. Now conditioning sessions have started, and that will lead up to the start of practice Oct. 15.
Ford said he has seen enough already to convince him he can play at that level.
“Oh, yeah, I think I can,” he said.
Kentucky State finished 12-15 last year under interim coach Antwain Banks, who was named the Thorobreds’ head coach in May.