St. Joe’s Noah Bolton signs with Ohio Valley University
HUNTINGTON — The kid who didn’t make his middle school team will play college basketball.
Huntington St. Joe boys basketball standout Noah Bolton signed to play at Ohio Valley University during a ceremony Thursday in the St. Joe gym. When Bolton, one of the more-beloved students at the school of about 150 students, put pen to paper signing his National Letter of Intent, the student body let loose with a boisterous ovation that evoked broad smiles from Bolton and his family.
“I want to thank everyone,” Bolton said. “I thank God, my family and friends, my teammates and mom and dad. Mom has always been the backbone of our family. Dad taught me so much. They’ve always been there for me.”
Bolton then turned to his right and praised former Irish coaches Ross Scaggs and Greg Ferguson, who were let go after coaching Bolton for four seasons, including his freshman year when St. Joe won a Class A state championship.
“These are the best coaches I could ever ask for,” Bolton said. “My freshman year, I didn’t know what I was doing. Coach Scaggs and coach Ferguson are like a second family to me.”
Scaggs praised Bolton, a 6-foot guard/forward known for his hard work and dedication.
“This is why you do this,” Scaggs said of seeing Bolton sign. “I’m very proud of him. This is the result of four years of working hard, about what working hard is all about.”
Bolton picked Ohio Valley University, a Christian school in Vienna, West Virginia, over an offer from Alderson Broaddus University. He also considered going to Marshall University as a student and not playing basketball. With assistance from St. Joe counselor Karen Appell, Bolton filled out a recruitment form for OVU, a NCAA Division II program in the Great Midwest Athletic Conference.
“Their coach (Mike Snell) e-mailed
me,” Bolton said. “They had no idea who I was. They never had watched me play. I went up and visited and fell in love with the place from the moment I walked on campus. It’s only an hour away. I can see my family and friends and people who are close to me. I can still go to church and everything.”
Bolton said he plans to major in business management with the goal of becoming a pastor.
“You can’t do anything without Jesus Christ,” Bolton said. “He’s there throughout my life. He’s helped me get to the point I am. I felt at home at Ohio Valley. I didn’t feel like a stranger or anything like that. It’s just a great place. Marshall is a great school, but it didn’t feel right. Alderson Broaddus is where my family is originally from and it was tough to say no to them, but it just didn’t feel right. I prayed about it countless times. My family and friends prayed about it. God led me to OVU.”