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TROJAN BOYS BASKETBALL: Traylor signs letter of intent

Jordan Willi/Daily Globe Worthington's Morgan Traylor (front center) poses for a photo after signing his college letter of intent to play basketball at Iowa Lakes. FRONT (front left): Juana Traylor, Morgan Traylor and Randy Traylor. BACK: Iowa Lakes head coach Troy Larson, Trojan boys' basketball coach Ron Vorwald and Iowa Lakes assistant coach Corey Christopher.

WORTHINGTON -- After a strong senior season with the Worthington Trojans boys' basketball team, Morgan Traylor signed his letter of intent to continue playing basketball for the Iowa Lakes Lakers next season.

"It is a small school that isn't too far away, plus I am really interested in agriculture and they have a good program there," the six-foot-six-inch post player said. "The coaching staff was just so open with me and they told me absolutely everything about the school and showed me around. They were completely open with me and made it feel like the right fit."

Iowa Lakes head coach Troy Larson couldn't be happier to pick up a player of Traylor's caliber.

"From the basketball side of things, I like how he can run the floor, he is bouncy around the rim and I think he can chase down balls for us," Larson said. "Coming from the system and the program he came from, he really understands how to play. All those things are very advantageous for us."

Not only did Larson like what he saw from Traylor on the court, but he feels Traylor will fit right in with his Lakers teammates.

"Obviously, the basketball part of his game speaks for itself, but for us it is way more about the character and the human being," Larson said. "We feel like Morgan has got that, so we are very excited to be able to coach him next year."

The Lakers are coming off a deep postseason run that saw them make a trip to the NJCAA National Tournament after claiming the Region 11 championship. Unfortunately, Iowa Lakes lost in the opening round by two points to Owens Community College and then fell to Mott Community College by a score of 73-68 to end their season 26-8.

"We sure hope that Morgan can come in and help us get closer to a national title," Larson said. "It was a fun year. We think that Morgan is the level of player that can come in and contribute to help keep us at the level that we are at or even help us take that next step. We are super excited today."

For Traylor, the choice to play basketball over all the other sports he played throughout his high school career was an easy one.

"I have always loved basketball since I was a little kid," Traylor said. "It's been my favorite sport and is my first love."

Throughout his senior season, Traylor averaged 17.3 points a game for a total of 450 points on the year. Traylor also picked up 286 rebounds in 28 games for the Trojans for an average of 11 rebounds a contest.

"Every night I know I have to try my best and try to help get the team the 'W,'" Traylor said. "It is all the preparation that coach [Vorwald] gives us and how he tells you to go out there and play your hardest."

Even with his success as a Trojan, Traylor and Larson both know that basketball at the college level is a very different game than it is at the high school level.

"I think one thing he has to work on, just like every other kid, is strength," Larson said. "The game at the college level is very, very physical, so he is going to have to get into the weight room and get stronger. We'd also like to see him refine all of the skills he already has."