Evan Battey can't play at Villa Park this coming season, his senior year. Battey, though, remains one of Orange County's most-prized basketball prospects.
He signed a letter of intent with Colorado on Wednesday, the first day of the one-week early signing period for basketball and many other sports.
Battey, a 6-foot-7, 235-pound senior forward, exausted his eight semesters of athletic eligibilty before this school year. He repeated his freshman year at Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies. He played basketball at LACES during his repeated freshman year and as a sophomore there before transferring to Villa Park before his sophomore year, 2015-16.
Although he did not play sports during his first freshman year at LACES, those two semesters still count toward the eight semesters of athletic eligibity each student-athlete has under CIF rules. So, adding the four semesters as a freshman, his two semesters as a sopohomore and his two semesters as a junior, Battey's eight semesters of athletic eligibility have been completed.
Battey took recruiting trips in September to Colorado, Purdue and Miami of Florida.
His non-playing status as a senior did not lessen the interest those colleges had in Battey.
"They stuck with me," Battey said. "They stuck with me, for sure."
He could have transferred to a non-California prep school and have been eligible there. Battey decided to remain at Villa Park.
"I wanted to stay here, practice with our team and make sure these guys are ready for the season," Battey said Wednesday. "It's all about the relationship with my teammates."
Battey averaged 24 points a game last season after which he was named All-Orange County first team. He is agile for his size and is an outstanding outside shooter and ball-handler.