NEW MADISON – Colton Linkous signed his letter of intent to play basketball for the NCAA Division II Cedarville Yellow Jackets in the (G-MAC) Great Midwest Athletic Conference.
“We are very proud of him (Linkous),” said Tri-Village varsity basketball coach Josh Sagester. “I know he is going to do very well. Cedarville got a heck of a player and a heck of a kid.”
“It feels really good,” Linkous said of his signing with CU. “I dreamed about it as a kid and to be able to take the next step towards my basketball career feels really good.”
“It’s a dream come true for him and his family,” added Sagester. “Obviously it’s a very good thing for our program, for us to be able to send one of our players to the next level and get a chance to compete and further his education.”
Originally slated to sign with Ashland University, the Tri-Village senior chose Cedarville over the Eagles.
“My gut feeling (choosing CU),” Linkous stated.” I knew it was a big decision for me to make. I had to spend my next four years at this place. Ashland is a great school. They have a great program, great coaches but I just felt like Cedarville was for me … my fit, so I just chose Cedarville.”
“Cedarville … they are a great family,” Linkous added. “The basketball team spends a lot of time together, do a lot together, the coaches are great and it’s a great school.
Colton’s sister, Kayla Linkous, a 2012 graduate of Tri-Village is a three-year varsity player at Cedarville University where she was named first team All-Great Midwest Athletic Conference and contributed to the Jackets first appearance in the NCAA Division II tournament as a starting forward on the 2015 team.
“My whole family told me to do what I had to do and to make my own decision,” said Colton Linkous. “Of course she (Kayla) played a little bit of an impact on that (CU signing) because I know she knows the place and I get to spend at least one year with her … but it was my decision.”
The 6-foot 4-inch 180 pound Linkous led the Tri-Village Patriots to a 30-0 season and the 2015 Ohio State Basketball Championship hitting the winning basket, a fadeaway jumper with just 1.2 seconds remaining on the game clock to give the Patriots a 48-46 win over Canal Winchester Harvest Prep.
“Damion Cook and Mason McCabe, those two, we’ve been through a lot together,” Linkous stated about his high school experience. “We put in a lot of time together. They really pushed me throughout my years … helped me out.”
It came easy for Coach Sagester, as Linkous’ varsity basketball coach and the Tri-Village Superintendent to reflect on his standout senior athlete and student’s singing with CU.
“No doubt his work ethic, the amount of time that he has put in to improve and enhance his skill level is second to none,” said Sagester. “That is going to continue and my guess is his best basketball is still ahead of him as he continues to work on his body and other facets of his game.”
“He has a very good structure at home, a very good family,” continued Sagester. “He’s a first class kid and he’s been a phenomenal teammate, he’s been a phenomenal kid to coach and obviously it’s a bitter sweet day. He is going to go help somebody else win some basketball games.”
Linkous, the Associated Press’ Division IV co-boys basketball player of the year was named the most outstanding player of the 2015 Division IV state tournament.
While at T-V Linkous scored more than 1,000 career points, was named the Cross County Conference co-boys basketball player of the year and was named the Southwest District Division IV boys basketball player of the year by the Associated Press.
Linkous, the son of Eric and Christy Sarver and Randy and Katy Linkous plans on pursuing a career in nursing or criminal justice at Cedarville University.
Linkous’ basketball role will take a different look playing for the Yellow Jackets.
“I talked to coach about it and he said I would be a two or three. That is what I played here,” Linkous said. “Last year I posted up a little more but this year I’ll be more out on the perimeter. I’ll have to work on driving and getting to the hoop, but as last year I’ll still be shooting threes.”
“I definitely have to improve my game to get stronger,” added Linkous. “I’ve been working on that so hopefully I’m ready for next season.”
Cedarville comes off a 13-16 basketball season with a 9-5 record in the conference play.
“The last two years they have struggled a little bit but they have a good group of freshmen coming in and transfers,” Linkous said. “Hopefully we turn the basketball program around.”