55 LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE

A memorable name from the Lancaster-Lebanon basketball scene has made his decision on his athletic and academic future.

Lancaster Mennonite’s Marc Hall announced Saturday that he has committed to Frederick College (MD) to play basketball.

Frederick College plays in the Maryland Junior College Athletic Conference, which consists of 16 community colleges throughout Maryland. The Cougars captured the MD JUCO conference championship in the 2014-15 season and were the MD JUCO, Region XX B Champions and national tournament participants in 2015-16.

Hall’s journey to college basketball isn’t a conventional one, however. The 6-foot-3 guard sat out his senior year for a number of reasons, starting with an eligibility issue that arose when it was unclear if Hall was going to return to Lancaster Mennonite.  But even after learning that he’d probably miss his senior high school basketball season, Hall explained that his goal was to work on his academic game, not his athletic one.

“It was mainly academics. This year was the first time I ever got a GPA above a 3.0. Never in my life have I gotten this good of grades. It was probably good that I sat out, honestly. I got my grades up, I got to work out and get my weight up to get ready for the next level.”

As a junior, Hall scored 425 points on a Blazers’ team that won the 2014-15 Section Four title and was the no. 2 seed in the District 3 Class AA tournament.

Though he didn’t play organized high school basketball in 2015-16 Hall has been diligent in keeping himself in basketball shape.

“I really needed to put on weight. When I get out of school , I go to the YMCA and shoot for an hour or two and do some dribbling drills and the I go down to the weight room. I’ve put on a real weight.”

Hall has also been attending team camps and showcase events.

Hall admitted that sitting out his senior year hurt his chances of playing college ball but once Frederick coach Emonte Hill contacted him after seeing his highlight tapes and talking his AAU coach, he knew it could be the start of something special.

“He (Hill) made me feel welcomed. He values education and basketball and he really cares about his players. Growing up, I didn’t have a father figure. I was raised by mainly females. So he made me feel real comfortable. He always talked to my mom on my phone and just made me feel very welcomed.”

Hill is in his third year as the Cougars’ head coach and was named MD JUCO Coach of the Year in 2014-15.

Though eventually transferring to another college is a possibility, Hall feels nothing but gratitude towards the school that is currently opening the door to the next level.

“With me having down and outs throughout my life, I know something good is going to come out of this because I worked hard for it. I’m not too worried about transferring right now because I’m going to go into the program and work hard and make some new friends,” he said. “I’m just thankful that they took a chance on me. I’m not going to let them down whatsoever.”

With a new journey ahead of him, Hall reflected on what he would tell his younger self as well as the next generation of aspiring student-athletes.

“With this situation going on, there was really times I wanted to give up. I thought this just wasn’t for me. But I just gave my problems up to God and stayed focused. If I could talk to the younger me, I’d tell him to focus on school more. It’s good to focus on basketball but it’s important to look at the big picture. You have to think about what you’re going to do after basketball. You can’t play basketball forever.”

55 LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE
Read or Share this story: http://gtpa.co/27MkBKZ