MAYSVILLE, Ky. — Size and grit has epitomized the Shawnee State men’s basketball frontline over the past several years.
Early last week, DeLano Thomas and his men’s basketball staff landed a 6-6 big man that fits right in tune to what the Bears are doing as a program.
Alex Schalch, who averaged 18 points and 8.1 rebounds per contest as a senior for Mason County (Ky.), will keep the Blue and White in his wardrobe when the 10th Region standout makes the move to Shawnee State this fall.
For the budding post star, the opportunity to play at SSU is one that he is ready to embrace with open arms.
“It’s incredible, to say the least,” Schalch said. “College basketball has always been the goal, and now that it’s here, I guess that I would say that I’m in awe. I’m very excited.”
Schalch stars early
From the start of his high school career, Schalch proved to be an outstanding contributor inside the 10th Region, which is consistently among the more competitive regions in the state.
Initially starring at Robertson County for the first three seasons of his athletic career, Schalch collected 11.1 points and 5.3 rebounds on 49.8-percent shooting as a freshman, then bumped his numbers by averaging 16.1 points and 7.2 rebounds on 51.5-percent shooting as a sophomore and 19.7 points and 7.2 rebounds on 58.5-percent shooting as a junior.
Move to Mason proves beneficial
During his senior season, Schalch transferred to Mason County and wasted no time making good on the transition.
Behind his aforementioned points and rebounds per contest this past year, Schalch, for the third season in a row, led his team in both categories — all while shooting 58.7-percent from the field.
That’s pretty impressive stuff — especially for a basketball program that has produced such high school greats as Chris Lofton (Tennessee), Darius Miller (Kentucky) and Dustin Grutza (Cincinnati football) along with many others.
“I had big shoes to fill, for sure,” Schalch said. “I just knew that I had support from the best fans at Mason County, plus an awesome backbone and lifelines from my own family. It was an experience of a lifetime, even being a part of such a prestigious program like Mason County, let alone being a contributor to the team.”
For Schalch, learning under Mason County head coach Brian Kirk was a massive boost to his opportunities from a basketball standpoint.
Then, there’s the competition that Schalch benefited from while in the 10th Region at both Robertson County and Mason County, which was evident as the teams Schalch played on won at least 16 or more games during each of his four seasons and won at least 18 games in each of his final three seasons of competition.
“(Brian) Kirk was the best coach that I could’ve asked for,” Schalch said. “Transferring schools was tough, but he supported me and challenged me, making me the best person that I could be. The 10th Region is a fun and competitive region with all sorts of good players with each night being in a packed house,” Schalch said. “There’s nothing like a standing room-only gym to play in. It was a great experience.”
With a strong high school resume built up already, Schalch’s ready to do the necessary work in order to be different and special at the collegiate level.
“I hope that when my time is up at Shawnee State, I have made the program stronger and made it more successful,” Schalch said. “My goal, at every place I’ve played ball from high school to AAU to college, has been to win.”
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