Decision day: Fairmont senior has choice between football, basketball

Ryan Hall isn’t shy about his affinity for basketball. He may, however, spurn it.

Wednesday is National Signing Day for high school seniors accepting NCAA Division I and II football scholarships. Those who did not sign during the early period (Dec. 19-21) have the option again to sign national letters of intent.

Will Hall?

“When the deadline comes,” the Fairmont senior said. “I’ll deal with it.”

»» RELATED: Fairmont blitzes Xenia

Hall has a unique dilemma. A two-time first team All-Greater Western Ohio Conference selection as a defensive back, he holds football scholarship offers from NCAA D-II Urbana and Tiffin universities.

A soon-to-be two-time All-GWOC performer in basketball, Hall also owns a scholarship offer in hoops from D-II Taylor (Ind.). “I know I have to pick,” Hall said, “and I love basketball.”

Basketball has a bear-hug on him. A four-year lettermen, Hall ranks among the GWOC leaders in scoring (18.3 points) and assists (4.6). He also averages 6.6 rebounds and 1.7 steals.

»» RELATED: No. 1 Carroll dodges Fairmont girls

“His personality has been as important to this program as the things he does on the court,” Fairmont basketball coach Blair Albright said. “He’s obviously an outstanding athlete and very competitive, but he also brings a ton to the locker room and the overall culture of our program. He’s a guy that listens to his teammates and coaches and is a guy people like being around. He’s the heartbeat of our team from a personality standpoint. He’s infectious.”

Teammates agree.

“He’s a great basketball player, but he’s also a leader and carries us emotionally,” senior Kellan Bochenek, Hall’s friend since grade school, said. “He can do everything.”

»» RELATED: Landers leads Wayne over Fairmont

In December at the Joe Machens Great 8 Classic in Jefferson City (Mo.), Hall was the tourney MVP after helping the Firebirds capture the title with a win over Harvest Prep in an all-Ohio final.

During a memorable 61-55 win over Crestwood Prep (Canada) at Flyin’ to the Hoop in January, Hall had 28 points, 10 rebounds and six assists. He was named to Flyin’s all-tourney team.

“I love the competitiveness of basketball,” Hall said. “You have to bring it every second.”

He brings it in football too. Named special mention OPSWA Division I All-Ohio last season, Hall had 37 tackles, five interceptions, two fumble recoveries and two forced fumbles. As a junior he registered 40 tackles, four interceptions, two fumble recoveries and a forced fumble. The Firebirds made the D-I playoffs both seasons and won 14 combined games.

Fairmont (14-5) is looking for a return trip to the D-I district finals in basketball. Sectional seeding occurs Sunday.

“Coach (Dave) Miller has brought a lot of attitude and effort to the football program,” Hall said. “He’s turned it into a family. In basketball, we’ve also been playing more as a family. I feel like the Kettering community has really been involved and behind us the whole time, too.”

Hall also has won over his coaches.

“We want to see good things happen to Ryan,” Albright said. “There aren’t any players I’ve coached that deserve it more. He’s going to be a very valuable asset to whatever college program he lands at.”


Who: High school seniors.

What: Regular period for NCAA D-I football (through April 1) and D-II (through Aug. 1).

When: Wed., Feb. 6.

Contact us: By email at with signing info.

About the Author