By Kyle Lovern
PIPPA PASSES, Ky. – Alice Lloyd head basketball coach J. R. Hammond hopes that Mason Pack will immediately help his program.
Pack officially signed with the eastern Kentucky college this past Saturday at a ceremony at the school.
“Mason’s 6’9 frame is very versatile. He can score on the block and he has a soft touch, with three point range,” Hammond said.
“I am sure once he gets back in to the swing of things he will be another great weapon to the eagle program,” Hammond added.
“I am really excited to be back on the floor. After taking a year to get better and improve myself, I think it has really helped me develop as a player,” Pack said.
Pack seems to have matured since he was in high school, both physically and mentally. “I’ve gotten a lot stronger in the off-season and my shot has developed into a more consistent shot,” Pack added. “I am just really excited to further my education and be able to play basketball again.”
Pack helped Tug Valley to a Class AA state title his senior season back in 2012. That spring the Panther upset Bluefield 58-52 in the finals at the Charleston Civic Center.
For his efforts that season Pack was an All-State and All-Area selection. He was also All-Tournament in the W.Va. State Tourney that year.
He came to the Panthers as a skinny freshman from Kermit and played four years for Tug Valley. He continued to improve each season.
After high school, he played one season at West Virginia Wesleyan for former WVU player Patrick Beilein, who recently left that school to become an assistant for the Utah Jazz of the NBA.
Last season he decided to sit out and took classes at the community college. The itch to play again saw Pack pursue a return to a college basketball program.
Alice Lloyd is one of the schools that recruited him while he was at Tug Valley.
The Eagles play in the KIAC and they are an NAIA school.
Coach Hammond played and coached at nearby Sheldon Clark High School in Martin County, so he is familiar with kids from rural areas.
Alice Lloyd College is widely recognized as a highly respected, private, four-year, liberal arts institution dedicated to providing leadership education to some of the brightest and best students in the Appalachian region.
The president of the school is Joe Stepp, who graduated from the old Warfield High School where he was a basketball standout. He was the coach at Alice Lloyd, however he continued to move up in to leadership roles at the college.
ALC focuses on developing Christian-based morals and ethics. Additionally, students must complete courses in Leadership before graduating from ALC.
This is also something that appealed to Pack when he decided to go back to college and chose Alice Lloyd.
His mother Emma and other family members were present at his signing this past weekend.
(Kyle Lovern is the Sports Editor for the Williamson Daily News. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 304-235-4242, ext. 2277 or on Twitter @KyleLovern.)