Deven Austin '22 - Princeton bound
When Wilbraham & Monson Academy’s Deven Austin was at a low point, he realized how valuable it was to get to the highest point possible.
And, wow, did Deven get to a high point.
Despite a knee injury that sidelined him in the spring, Deven signed his National Letter of Intent in the WMA gym Thursday night to attend and play basketball at Princeton University.
Deven, a 6-foot-6 finisher from Vernon, Conn., helped WMA to the New England Class AA title in 2019-20 weeks before COVID-19 shut down high school sports.
Deven on committing to Princeton: “In the spring I hurt my knee and it opened my eyes to what would I do after basketball. When I got the phone call from Princeton, I was intrigued because I didn’t think any coaches were still looking at me. Now, getting the best of both worlds, the academics and the basketball, you can’t get any better than that.”
Deven on signing his NLI: “It’s a great relief to have all the college stuff done, and I’m definitely excited to know where I’m going to college and having all my friends and family here to support me. It’s a great day.”
Deven on how the Academy helped him during his four-year high school career at WMA: “WMA prepared me academically, and Coach (Mike) Mannix put me in the best possible position for basketball my four years here. The school’s done a great job helping me grow as a person on and off the court.”
Coach Mannix regarding Deven’s NLI signing: “What makes tonight even more special is he’s been here four years - coming in as a true freshman, a non-repeat player, which is rare, and the fact that he was extremely patient in his own development, which is unique in its own right. He was a guy who knew it was going to be a long process, but if he did it the right way it was going to pay off. He never tried to microwave anything, as we say. He took his time, worked consistently and worked really hard. It’s paid off with great results. Sophomore year he was a contributor on a championship team. Last year he was excellent, and this year he looks to cap it all off with a great senior campaign. And I’m really happy for his family. His parents are extremely supportive of him and they’ve been members of our community. They’ve been here for everything he has done. This is the day you feel as a coach and kind of like a dad celebrating something, so it’s awesome.”