Ballard signs with ASU
It was Brandon Ballard Day on Wednesday at Buffalo Island Central High School as the BIC Senior signed a letter of intent to play basketball for Arkansas State University.
The 6'4" senior signed during a ceremony held at the new Mustang Athletic Complex with a show of support from family, friends, teachers, and BIC students of all ages.
BIC has seen many triumphs throughout the years and Ballard's signing will add to the successes of BIC basketball. Ballard is the first BIC Mustang to sign at the Division I level.
Ballard has played basketball throughout his school years and averaged 22 points a game his sophomore year and 20.5 his junior season. He is averaging more than 20 points a game this year with the Mustangs starting the 2004-05 season with an 8-0 record.
In addition to his basketball accomplishments, Ballard has a 3.9 grade point average.
Ballard is the son of Scott and Regina Ballard. Both expressed their excitement for their son's opportunity.
Ballard said it was important to sign somewhere close to home so that his parents and his fans can come watch him play.
"I really wasn't looking anywhere other than ASU," Ballard said. "I knew it was a great school and after I visited with Coach Dickey Nutt, I knew it was where I wanted to play basketball. I think it is a great university and have a great coaching staff."
BIC Coach Bill Taylor is a former ASU player. He has coached for 20 years and has been at BIC for seven years.
"Coach Taylor is a great coach," Ballard said. We have a lot of leadership on our team this year. We are better defensively this year. We are all looking forward to a good year."
The Mustangs were NEA Champions last year. Ballard has received many basketball honors during his high school career. He was named All Regional and MVP his ninth grade year after moved to the senior high team once his junior high season was over. He was named all district and all state his sophomore and junior years.
In addition to basketball ball, Ballard has played American Legion baseball the last two seasons. He enjoys baseball but said basketball is still his favorite sport and he is very happy for the opportunity to continue to play the game.
Ballard said his parents of have always supported him and encouraged him to strive to do his best.
"They have always been there for me," Ballard said. "My mother always told me grades come first. I've always wanted to do the best I could in the classroom as well as the basketball court. We have great teachers at BIC."
Ballard said he is proud to be part of the Mustang team.
"Our new gymnasium is awesome and we are all excited about that," Ballard said.
Ballard now has his "after high school" plans in order and is looking forward on concentrating on the rest of the season and working toward a BIC State Championship.
"That would make the perfect finish," Ballard said.