Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Sweat-Equity Bears Fruit as Hotz Signs with Smsu

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Sweat-Equity Bears Fruit as Hotz Signs with Smsu

Article excerpt

Josh Hotz told his father several years ago that he wanted to play major-college basketball some day. He quickly showed a will to sweat toward that goal, and his parents allowed him.

"My dad never has said I should have any kind of job all through high school," Hotz said. "He said if I worked at basketball hard to get to college, that would be enough.

"It helps that I also play basketball for fun."

The years of combining business and pleasure will bear the fruit of a mission accomplished this week. Hotz, a senior at Borgia High School in Washington, Mo., will sign a letter of intent with Southwest Missouri State, probably today or Thursday.

Basketball players, as well as athletes in several other sports, can make their college decisions official beginning today, the start of an eight-day early commitment period.

Hotz, 6 feet 4 and 190 pounds, averaged 16 points and eight assists a game last season, when he helped Borgia win a second successive Missouri Class 3A title. He probably will play primarily at point guard.

Hotz is one of a few area athletes relieved to get the recruiting process wrapped up. SMSU was the only major program to offer him a scholarship in time for the early period, but schools such as Penn State, Southern Illinois-Carbondale, Evansville and Northern Illinois showed enough interest to make Hotz think that they might have offered a scholarship in the spring.

He didn't want to wait.

"This relieves a lot of pressure," Hotz said. "Before, I would have been going out trying to impress some coach in the stands. Now, I can just play ball."

And he didn't think he'd find anything he liked more than SMSU.

"I really didn't know much about the school before they recruited me," Hotz said. "The campus is really nice, and I like the town a lot."

Springfield is only three hours from Washington. He probably would have made the trip a few times this season anyway, because former Borgia teammate Ben Kandlbinder is a freshman who might start for the Bears. …

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