Cal Poly men’s Basketball Inks Two Recruits for 2018

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Updated: November 15, 2017

Joe Callero’s 2018-19 roster was bolstered last week with the signing of two high school seniors to national letters of intent. Junior Ballard (Modesto Christian, Stockton, CA) and Daxton Carr (Highland High School, Pocatello, Idaho) both made their Cal Poly commitments official during the Fall early signing period. Cal Poly issued this release on Thursday.

Carr is a 6’7″ forward who looks like he has length, athleticism, and the ability to knock-down open jumpers. He’s also a receiver on a very good high school football team. His team will play for the state championship inside Idaho State’s Holt Arena on Friday night, before Carr moves full-time to basketball.

“The only official visit I took was to Cal Poly because I felt like that was the place for me,” said Carr last week. “I already had it in my head that’s where I wanted to go before I’d really gone anywhere else. The way that the coaches talked to me, they really had a lot of belief in me and were really respectful to me.”

Carr always had dreams of attending college in California. 

“It’s been in my mind to go to school in California for a long time. When [I was recruited] it was like OK, I really have an opportunity to do this. I was just talking to coaches and [Cal Poly] felt like the right place. ” 

Recruited by his hometown Idaho State, Utah State, UCSB, and Air Force, he chose Cal Poly. The confidence that Cal Poly was a good fit was affirmed when he arrived on-campus for his visit.

“When I got down there and I met everybody, the atmosphere was so friendly and everybody was so welcoming to me. All the players got along and that’s something you don’t really see everywhere, so I thought that was something that was cool that I wanted to be a part of.”

The day before signing day, Callero checked-in with Carr. 

“He was just checking-in to see if I was ready to sign and see how it’s going,” said Carr. “I told him I was excited and that I was ready to come down there right now.”

Here’s a video of Carr from the summer before last with his AAU team and some easy-to-spot hair.

Ballard is a 6’3″ guard from the Modesto area who could probably either be a 2 guard or a scoring point, though he said Cal Poly’s coaches are looking at him more on the wing. He definitely moves on the court like a next-level athlete and carries himself with a little bit of a swagger — a good thing if you want to compete right away for playing time. He looks as though he has college-ready handles, and for a guard on a team that doesn’t like to turn the ball over, good ball control is a necessary thing.

Ballard said Callero’s confidence in him academically played a big role in him committing to Cal Poly.

“The first time he called me, I was down in LA,” said Ballard. “He had offered me and said, ‘I really want to help you.’ He sounded really confident in trying to develop me. As time went on, I had different offers, but they weren’t as interested as Coach Callero. It really happened at the last moment. There was another school I was really thinking about. I told coach I’m not really confident in taking the SAT and getting that certain score. He called me and said, ‘Are you crazy?!’ He said, ‘I have a lot of faith in you.’ He said, ‘there’s no doubt in my mind you will be able to get that score and come play here.’ Basically, it was just him wanting me.”

Other schools that were in the running included the local school, Pacific, along with Fordham, Sacramento State, Northern Arizona, and UCSB. Ballard has ball skills, but sees himself helping defensively early-on.

“I honestly think that I could help a huge amount,” said Ballard. “I play defense, and I could do whatever the coach needs me to. I’m not just one set player.”

Ballard already has his sights set on state playoffs with Modesto Christian. As for long-term goals at Cal Poly?

“I’m going to work hard to try to help be the best person I can be, make my teammates better, so we can hopefully go to the big dance. That’s my main intention when I come to Cal Poly,” said Ballard.

 

 

Cal Poly’s current roster has 14 players overall, including two seniors — Victor Joseph and Luke Meikle. There are eight juniors on the roster.

Cal Poly hosts Holy Names on Wednesday night at Mott Athletic Center. Bring a canned food item and support the Food Bank of San Luis Obispo County. Tip-off is at 7pm.

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