Boys Varsity Basketball
Columbus North senior Bailey Hester announced his commitment to the Taylor University men’s basketball program on Tuesday (March 27).
Hester, a 5-11 guard, averaged 9.9 points and 2.0 rebounds in helping the Bull Dogs to a 14-11 season that included a third-place finish in Conference Indiana. He also added 1.3 assists per game while shooting 52 percent from the field (80-of-154), 44 percent from 3-point range (36-of-81) and 75 percent on free throws (52-of-69).
“I really liked the coaches, and the players are great,” Hester said of his choosing the NAIA school located in Upland, Ind. “The campus is beautiful, and I felt it was the best fit for me.”
Hester noted that he communicated regularly with Trojans head coach Josh Andrews and assistant coach Casey Coons during the recruiting process. Hester chose Taylor – where he plans to major in business – after also considering IU-Southeast and Hanover.
“I am very thankful that God gave me the opportunity to continue playing basketball at the next level,” said Hester, who scored in double figures 13 times as a senior, including a career-high 26 points in a 113-56 victory over Indianapolis Lighthouse East on Dec. 28 in the Noblesville Holiday Invitational.
At season’s end, Hester was chosen honorable mention all-Conference Indiana, all-District 3 by the Hoosier Basketball Coaches Association and first-team All-Area by the Columbus Republic. He scored 13 points to help the Maroon beat the Gold in the South Central All-Area All-Star Game on Monday (March 26).
Hester will be joining a Taylor program that went 16-15 in 2017-18, including a 7-11 mark in the powerful Crossroads League. The Crossroads League had three teams in the final eight of the 2018 NAIA Division II national tournament, including champion Indiana Wesleyan, runner-up Saint Francis (Ind.) and quarterfinalist Marian (Ind.). A fourth team from the CL, Bethel (Ind.), also made the 32-team national tournament.
Hester is expected to take part in a college-bound student-athlete ceremony at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 11 in CN’s Bill Stearman Athletic Complex.