Duke signee enters Montrose pipeline
Hairston opts for a year with Vetter before entering ACC
A commercial tag line once said, "We don't make a lot of the products you buy; we make a lot of the products you buy better."
Like BASF Chemical Co., Montrose Christian boys basketball coach Stu Vetter takes already-great products and makes them better.
The latest is Duke (N.C.) University signee Josh Hairston.
The 6-foot-9, 220-pound forward transferred to Montrose this fall after three years at Courtland High School in Spotsylvania, Va., roughly an hour away from the small Rockville private school. He hopes a year of seasoning under Vetter will prepare him better for life in the Atlantic Coast Conference, as it did for former Mustang transfers Greivis Vasquez and Adrian Bowie of Maryland.
"I came to the decision this past summer during the AAU circuit," Hairston said. "One of the reasons is Coach Vetter has a reputation for getting guys ready for college and the NBA. It was a great decision, and I'm seeing great results already. I've put on 10 pounds of positive muscle. Montrose is doing great things for me."
Montrose also has two graduates currently starring in the NBA: Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder and Linas Kleiza of the Denver Nuggets, who both also began their high school careers elsewhere.
Hairston comes to Rockville with some serious credentials already. He led Courtland to the Group AA, Division 4 state championship as a junior. During the run to the state title, Hairston averaged 23.8 points and 10.6 rebounds a game, and he was named the Virginia state player of the year by both the Virginia High School Coaches Association and the Associated Press.
"Josh is an outstanding athlete with a tremendous work ethic both on and off the court," Vetter said. "He's very versatile. He can play inside and outside. He's 6-9 and he can handle the basketball. ... He plays with high energy and he plays with intensity from the forward position. He's been an outstanding addition to our school. He's an outstanding student."
The ESPNU basketball recruiting service currently ranks him 27th on its list of the top 100 high school prospects nationally.
Hairston will make his Montrose debut Wednesday night against Theodore Roosevelt (D.C.) in the Caron Butler Invitational at Coolidge High in Washington, D.C. The Mustangs had their season opener postponed Saturday because of poor weather conditions.
"Being at Courtland for three years and with the relationships I had with the students and the faculty and winning a state championship, [coming to Montrose] was one of the toughest decisions I've made," Hairston said. "Everything is going well. I can't wait to put on a Montrose uniform. I think we can be really good. We only have three seniors but we're very mature. We have talent, and I think we can make some noise this year."
While deciding to switch high schools may have caused some sleepless nights, Hairston had little problem wading through his numerous college suitors, committing to Duke early.
He has since officially signed with the Blue Devils, choosing the ACC school over many other suitors. Ohio State, Virginia Tech, Virginia and Georgetown were the other schools he listed in his top five.
"I'm looking forward to going down there and playing college basketball," Hairston said. "[Signing early] was one of my goals coming into the recruiting process. I have the decision down now. I'm done. Now I don't have to worry about the phone calls."