After putting up one of the best statistical seasons in school history, Carroll County’s Adam Horton has signed to play college basketball at Division II West Virginia Wesleyan.
Horton was being courted by almost every school in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference as well as Division II schools such as Glenville State, Newberry College and Erskine College. In the end, West Virginia Wesleyan just seemed like the right fit.
“We looked at all of them and I just felt like that was the best place for me for basketball and my education. It just felt like the best place,” said Horton, who signed his letter of intent May 30. “I was looking for somewhere that felt like home and that was the place.”
Located in Buckhannon, West Virginia, the school is about four hours from Carroll County, Horton said, noting it was about 30 minutes away from Morgantown, W. Va. Horton said he had been recruited mostly by Division III ODAC schools during the season until former Carroll County basketball player Blake Dalton put Horton on the radar of the Bobcats’ coaching staff. “We had been emailing a lot of coaches and a buddy of mine, Blake Dalton that played at the University of Charleston, he had a relationship with the assistant coach at the time, Sidney Crist. He texted him and we sent him my stuff. He really liked me and followed up and we worked things out from there.”
Horton’s Division II signing capped off an incredible senior year for the 6-6 forward/guard. Horton put up staggering numbers during the 2017-2018 season, finishing third in the Timesland in scoring with 24.8 points per game despite facing double and triple teams almost every night. His scoring average and 570 points for the season are both believed to be single-season school records.
Horton also placed in the top 10 in the Timesland in rebounding with 8.3 boards per contest. And in the face of constant harassment, he still shot nearly 50 percent from the floor (203-for-418). Horton also led the team in blocks with 2.5 per game and he shot 72 percent from the free throw line (144-of-199) and 34 percent from 3-point range (20-of-59).
Despite the Cavaliers’ 3-20 record, coaches saw Horton’s value and impressive skills, voting him to the All-Three Rivers District and All-Region 4D first teams. He also was chosen to play in the Virginia High School Coaches Association All-Star Game in March at UVa-Wise. Additionally, he became one of just a select few boys’ basketball players to score 1,000 career points at Carroll County.
“I think he has the potential to have a really successful college career because he is such a versatile player. He can play the guard positions, the forward positions, he can guard four positions,” Carroll County head coach Tee Jackson said. “He has a 6-9 wingspan and once he is in a college strength and conditioning program the sky is going to be the limit for how his body is going to change and how much more explosive he is going to get.”
Horton will be getting nearly a full ride to play for the Division II Bobcats. He said his coaches are recruiting him to play a wing position, although his versatility makes it likely he could play multiple positions at the next level. Horton plans to study sports management at West Virginia Wesleyan. He said his recruitment really took off once the Bobcats got involved with him.
“I just had DIII schools recruiting me for the longest time throughout the season, a lot of the ODAC schools, and then West Virginia Wesleyan was the first school to offer me a scholarship,” Horton said. “And then it was like a chain reaction. A lot of schools found out about it in the Mountain East (Conference) and then it was almost like starting back over. There is nothing wrong with Division III schools but they can’t give you athletic money. So I went back and started visiting all those schools and kind of started over.”
Jackson said it will be interesting to see how the Bobcats use Horton at the collegiate level. He can score, he can defend and he can rebound. As a junior, Jackson utilized Horton to guard the opposing team’s best player because he is such a good defender. Carroll didn’t use Horton as much in that role his senior season because he played almost every minute of every game.
“This year we had to rest him a bit more because he had to play basically the whole game, but he can do it all,” Jackson said. “And in terms of work ethic, Adam has a fantastic work ethic. He decided it was his dream to play in college and he decided he was going to do everything he could do to get there and he did. I have never seen a player improve as much as he did from his tenth grade year to his twelfth grade year. He just made a tremendous amount of improvement, and if he has got another jump like that from high school to when he goes to college, the sky is the limit for him.”
Allen Worrell can be reached at (276) 779-4062 or on Twitter@AWorrellTCN