Hockinson grad Hall headed for Cal Poly

All-Region hoop player of year will delay entry until 2012

By Paul Valencia, Columbian high school sports reporter

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photoJoshua Hall

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Joshua Hall’s trip to a Division-I basketball scholarship has taken an unorthodox turn, but eventually, the road will lead him exactly where he wants to go.

Hall, a recent graduate from Hockinson who was named The Columbian’s All-Region boys basketball player of the year this winter, has made his intentions known that he will sign with Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, Calif., as a 2012 recruit.

That means he will skip a season of NCAA basketball, using the time to build muscle on his 6-foot, 7-inch, 185-pound frame.

“My No. 1 goal is to be prepared to come in and be able to contribute my freshman year,” Hall said, referring to the 2012-13 season. “From then on, just being the best player I can and helping the team get to the national tournament. That’s the coach’s goals, the team’s goal. I want to be a part of that.”

The early signing period for 2012 recruits is in November.

In the meantime, Hall said he has two options on how to spend his year: Attend a prep school in Wisconsin that has a special program for basketball players or stay close to home and take a few classes at Clark College while working on his game on his own.

Whichever way he chooses, he will still have five years to complete four years of NCAA eligibility.

“Some people use the term late bloomer. My body is just developing,” Hall said. “I’m giving myself an extra year. I think it will benefit me a lot more. I’ll still have all those years of playing ahead. I can focus for a year and really do some training.”

If he attends St. John’s Northwest Military Academy in Delafield, Wis., Hall will be part of a 10-month program that includes college classes and a basketball schedule.

“You get that college feel, a schedule, but you don’t waste a year of eligibility,” Hall said.

Hall said Cal Poly coach Joe Callero and his staff followed Hall throughout his senior season, even watching him play in person. They liked his game but they wanted Hall to get a little stronger. They suggested the non-traditional strategy to signing.

“I was willing to wait a year,” Hall said.

Hall said was offered the scholarship on his visit earlier this month. He came home, thought about it for a few days, then called Callero to accept.

“People say you get those feelings when it feels right,” Hall said. “It felt right.”

Hall, who said math is his best subject, is considering a major in engineering. He also said he won’t mind the Pacific Ocean being just 10 miles from campus.

Hall averaged 20.5 points per game this past season, leading Hockinson to a Class 2A Greater St. Helens League co-championship. He scored in double figures in every game. He also leaves Hockinson as the school’s all-time leader in points and several other career marks.