The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

High School Sports

April 27, 2014

Ayers commits to Glenville State

What a ride it’s been for Taron Ayers.

The 2013 Register-Herald Player of the Year missed half of the 2013-14 season, after initially being ruled ineligible by the WVSSAC.

Ayers later transferred to Wyoming East, and after a lengthy battle, was declared eligible to play for the Warriors, earning Class AA Third Team All-State honors in the process.

The dream of playing basketball for Ayers, which all but seemed finished just a few short months ago, has now moved forward.

Ayers announced via Twitter Saturday afternoon that he has verbally committed to continue his playing career with Glenville State College of the Mountain East Conference.

“It’s a blessing,” Ayers said. “To finally top it off with this. I’ve been through a lot this year and it’s a blessing to continue to play basketball.”

While Ayers’ college destination has been the subject of message board rumors for several years, he says there were only two places he was considering — Glenville State and Fork Union Prep School.

But when Ayers stepped foot in the new Waco Center athletic facility at Glenville, he knew he had found a home.

“The facilities are crazy,” Ayers said. “It’s amazing. It’s hard to believe I’ll be playing there.”

The journey of high school hoops for Ayers was a long one, starting at Woodrow Wilson and ending at Wyoming East, with a stop at Summers County in-between. But the Wyoming East connection may be the strongest one for “T-Rex.”

The hot-shooting guard was recruited by Pioneers assistant coach Justin Caldwell, who helped lead Wyoming East to a state championship 2007. Joining Ayers in Glenville this fall will be former Warrior Luke Campbell, and when he took his first visit, he did so with current Warriors coach Rory Chapman at his side.

“He helped me with the pros and cons of every situation,” Ayers said of Chapman.

But more importantly, the family-first attitude of Ayers helped sway his decision to play for the Pioneers.

TaRon’s brother Jaquan, signed a letter of intent to play football for Glenville State this fall, joining former Summers County teammate Terry Smith and a pair of former Woodrow Wilson stars Ramon Edwards and Andrew Johnson. The Ayers’ father Michael Harshaw also attended Glenville State.

“The biggest factor was my brother signing to play there in football,” Ayers said. “That made my decision a little easier.”

The Pioneers made the Division II NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history this past season, finishing with an 18-11 record. They lost in the first-round to eventual national runner-up West Liberty 88-72.

That success is something Ayers — and Glenville State coach Stephen Dye — hope to continue.

“I feel like it is going to be a great program,” Ayers said. “Hopefully we’ll win some games and the championship.”

Ayers, who will major in business, will report to Glenville this fall, where he’ll also join former Webster County standout and WVU signee Brett Morris.

E-mail: jrollins@register-herald.com and follow on Twitter at @JDanielRollins.

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