Elliott Lowndes didn't have to look far for his college destination
The 6-foot-11 big man from Cobden signed a National Letter of Intent Thursday and will join Kyle Smithpeters and company at John A. Logan College.
Lowndes, who was named to the Associated Press Class 1A Honorable Mention team, also made the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Second Team All State and was Second Team Chicago Sun Times is just one of many local players on the Volunteers, as he will join, Carterville's Austin Garbe and Eli Downen.
A sense of "home" is ultimately what drove Lowndes to ink papers with the Volunteers
"They (John A. Logan) invited me to work out with them over the summer, so I got to meet all the guys and all the coaches early off and they treated me like I was one of them as a junior going into senior year and the staff is very good and I trust in what coach Smithpeters can do to improve my game."
Lowndes averaged 22.7 points, 9.3 rebounds and 3.8 blocks for a 24-8 regional final Appleknocker team. He had a season high 37 points, 21 rebounds and 11 blocks, shooting 67 percent from the field.
Lowndes noted that he believes his size and speed should bode well with the Volunteers pace of play.
"I have watched John A play and I know they play at a very fast pace and it will take some getting used to, but that is the way I like to play and with the talent they already have I think my size and speed will go well with their strengths."
A point of emphasis for the Cobden big man will be bulking up in the offseason. As one local high school coach noted, the tall, long Lowndes is much improved over the last year.
"I have talked with coach Smithpeters some and he thinks if I can put some strength on over this summer that I could run a forward spot. I am going to be working with them early so that I can quickly improve before my freshman season."
JALC loses about 70 percent of its scoring after Sean East (21 points per game), Cobie Barnes (14.4 ppg), Tujautae Williams (12.3), Cam Alford (9.3), Sarion McGee (7.3), Dawson Yates (3.5) and Justin Johnson (1 ppg) were all lost to graduation
The Vols went 29-4 this past season, losing in the first round of the NJCAA National Tournament to Harcum College 109-91.
Also returning to the Vols for the 2022-23 season will be guards Teon Nesbitt (2.7), Detrick Reeves (6.8), Garbe (1), and Justin Cross (1.1), along with forwards KJ Debrick (7) and Downen (1.3).
Spyder Dann covers prep and college sports for the Southern Illinois LOCAL Media Group. Follow him on Twitter: @spydieshooter.