For the record, Dan Monteroso feels perfectly confident he could be wheeling and dealing for the Boilermakers' hoop squad next winter at West Lafayette. And, who's to argue?
"I always dreamed of playing two sports in college," St. Clairsville's savvy senior disclosed Monday evening after scoring a rare repeat as Ohio Division II Player of the Year.
Multiple selections as the Buckeye State's premier cager are generally reserved for the LeBron James' of the world and a short list of others.
Make no mistake, though, Monteroso is certainly a deserving athlete based on a spectacular four-season prep career with Kim Clifford's Red Devils.
For the Purdue football recruit, regrets are few, save perhaps, for one in particular. If only Monteroso and his teammates could have survived a formidable four-team regional field last week down at Athens where St. C. dropped a semifinal bid against an equally-worthy New Philadelphia outfit.
"The way I look at it, we could easily still be playing but we just didn't get it done (that night)," he stated. "But it was nice to see all the hard work my teammates and I put in pay off. The last two years were amazing."
Expect more of the same for Monteroso, an intelligent, well-versed young man who provided Red Devil fans four years of unforgettable memories on the hilltop.
This season, his tireless work ethic on the hardwood undeniably rubbed off on his running mates and culminated in continual success stories for Clifford's talented quint which frequently took no prisoners on a nightly basis.
Monteroso's 26.5 points-per-game average, it should be stressed, dramatically belie his overall worth to Clifford's exceptional program.
"I was fortunate to have great teammates around me," Monteroso acknowledged. "I couldn't have had (this) type of career without their help and friendship."
He admits playing a dual sport role at Purdue came up during discussions, though, in the end, fully concentrating on one was the way to go. "I felt it was most important to focus on one sport in college, especially at the D-I level," Monteroso indicated.
"It's not like I'm giving up hoops," he laughed. "I'll probably play some intramural basketball and try and keep fit."
Monteroso, who compiled a staggering 2,340 points for Clifford's club in four seasons, also rebounded with authority and took special pride in getting his teammates involved.
"I tried to work on different aspects of my game (each season)," he noted. "I worked on going to my right and hitting the pull-up jumper (as a junior), then tried to concentrate of just being a complete player (this past season)."
A mission Monteroso most emphatically accomplished, leading to Ohio's player of the year accolade. "It's truly a great honor," he remarked.
Meanwhile, those in desperation mode filling out March Madness brackets this week may note Dan the man's final four consist of Duke, Indiana, Kansas and the Buckeyes.
JOINING Monteroso among those saluted by the Associated Press today is St. C. classmate Riley Carlton, an honorable mention selection. Harrison Central southpaw Fletcher Watt and Indian Creek's Alex Young also earned honorable mention status.
Gibson may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org