Posted On: 06/3/17 10:33 AM
It’s difficult to accurately judge talent right after a kid’s freshman year. Yet, when it comes to 6’6” wing/forward Aaron Ward (2020), it’s pretty clear this versatile athlete is going to have an impact on Cincinnati Princeton over the next three seasons.
This spring with All Ohio Elite, a branch of All Ohio that is made up almost entirely of Southwest Ohio talent, Ward has been the most impressive player. Amongst a team of future college prospects, Ward has separated himself with his height, athleticism, emerging skillset, and effort.
“My athletic ability and my finishing … I think I can defend all [positions],” Ward simply said, when asked about his strengths.
Ward has the physical looks of a power forward. But when you start paying attention to his gameplay, it becomes obvious that Ward is moving towards more of a wing. Given his size and work ethic, Ward’s upside is exciting.
“I’ve been working on my dribbling a lot and my three-pointers … [I want to be] a small forward, but that can handle the ball and facilitate the offense,” Ward told Prep Hoops Ohio.
Ward has the opportunity to learn from a rather good wing next season at Princeton, in high-major prospect Darius Bazley. But eventually, Princeton’s program will be in the hands of Ward’s strong 2020 class.
Last season, Ward was one of a few freshmen who split time between junior varsity and varsity. According to Ward himself, the next step is gaining more responsibility at that varsity level.
“I swung during the school year. When I did play with varsity, they had me at the four … I’m trying to start my sophomore year,” Ward said.
“I got to be able to guard really, really quick players,” Ward said, when asked what he needs to improve, in order to earn those minutes.
We’d expect Ward to be afforded the opportunity to prove himself this winter for Princeton. Going into June, Ward was on fire. He’s also one of the rare kids who improved every time we saw All Ohio Elite, a testament to his work ethic when he’s out of the public eye.
If Ward continues along this trajectory, college programs will take notice over the next year or so. Currently, the 2020 prospect isn’t seeing any recruitment. For Ward, becoming a college basketball player is the primary goal.
“I’m just trying to play college so I can provide for my family,” Ward said.