Over the past four years, McDowell Titan basketball player Dylan McRary has been a perfect example of how hard work and skill development can pay off over the long haul.
The senior guard will be furthering his basketball career next season when he attends Milligan College.
McRary, a two-year varsity player for the Titans and an All-Northwestern 3A/4A Conference selection, signed with the NAIA program on Wednesday and will be joining the Buffaloes, who are coming off a strong campaign in the competitive Appalachian Athletic Conference.
The choice for McRary was quick and simple as he came away impressed with the campus during a visit.
“I really like that it’s a close distance from home and it being a small-school environment it has a similar feel to here,” said McRary, who also mentioned how he was impressed with the coaching staff assembled at the school. Head coach Bill Robinson along with assistant coach Jack Frost attended Wednesday’s signing.
McRary had a breakout season as a starter on the Titans varsity basketball team after playing as a reserve his junior year. McRary led the team in scoring this season at 18.2 points per game, along with team-highs of 3.1 assists and 2.2 steals per game. He also finished second in rebounding (4.3 rpg) and in free-throw percentage at 67 percent. Career-wise, he finished with a 12.3 ppg average in 53 games played.
McRary’s steady development going back to his underclassman days as part of the jayvee team has put him in a position to play at the next level.
“Dylan has been really huge for us. He’s been outstanding ever since he stepped on campus,” said McDowell head coach Brian Franklin. “He’s been a great student, a great basketball player and has never been in any trouble a single day that he’s been here and he’s had the opportunity to play on some of the best basketball teams here in recent memory. And he’s done a lot individually to develop as a player.
“He’s a good scorer, a ballhandler and is athletic for his size. I’m proud of him for what he’s done here at McDowell High School and for the opportunity he will have with Milligan.”
McRary said Franklin and MHS assistants Allen Tate and Joe Cash have helped mold him as a basketball player.
“I feel like we have some of the best coaches in this state,” said the senior. “Coach Franklin, Coach Tate and Coach Cash have done a lot for me, to push me every single day in practice to become a better basketball player. I am thankful for that.”
Milligan had an experienced roster this past season with five seniors and four juniors on their full roster. McRary will be a part of a 2019 class that will help replenish the loss of upperclassmen.
The Buffs finished with a 22-8 mark and a third-place finish in the league’s regular season behind regular-season champ Union (KY) College. Milligan earned a trip to the AAC tournament semifinals before losing to Montreat Feb. 22.
McRary currently holds a 3.72 GPA at McDowell in his last semester of high school, and plans on majoring in mechanical engineering. He said a big goal of his after his college days are complete is to become an entrepreneur.