OTTUMWA — Lester Medford is no stranger to the Lone Star state.
He may be listed as a native of Tucson, Arizona, but Medford spent many of his formidable years as a youth growing up in the capital city of Texas.
“I actually lived in Austin, Texas throughout middle school,” Medford said. “Even a little bit of elementary school.”
Medford’s choice of a four-year school on Wednesday ensures he’ll be making a return to the home of the Texas Longhorns. Aside from family and friends, however, the reception might not be all that warm inside the Frank Erwin Center.
Because when Medford plays at Texas next year, he’ll be doing so donning Baylor green and gold. The Indian Hills sophomore guard inked his letter of intent to play just over 100 miles north of Austin in Waco, Texas, for the Bears and head coach Scott Drew Wednesday afternoon at the Hellyer Student Life Center in Ottumwa.
“That’ll be a good game to face (Texas),” Medford said with a smile after finalizing his four-year college choice. “It’s a chance to be close my mom and my little brother, my cousins and aunts. I just decided to go back to Texas and play there (over the next two years).”
“I think his hard work is paying off. He’s got a bright future both here (at Indian Hills) and there (at Baylor),” IHCC head basketball coach Barret Peery added.
The choice of Baylor gives Medford a chance to continue a recent trend of success that junior college transfers, and in particularly guards, have had with the Bears. Pierre Jackson, a former JUCO Player of the Year at the College of Southern Idaho, recently completed two successful years as a starter for Baylor’s 2012 "Elite Eight" team and on the Bears squad that defeated Iowa for the NIT Championship last spring.