Monday was a big day for David Early and the Logan High School basketball program. Early was declared eligible to play for the Wildcats in his senior season by the West Virginia Secondary School Acitivities Commission.
The 6-foot-4 Class AA All-State first-team guard for the Wildcats had transferred to Beckley Prep back in the fall and played roughly 10 games for the Swarm but decided to come back home.
Logan athletics director Dan Hensley confirmed the reports when asked if Early was indeed ruled eligible.
“Yes he was,” Hensley said via text.
On top of his All-State honor, Early led the Cardinal Conference in scoring. He scored more than 30 points in eight games last season and averaged 26.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 1.5 steals.
The Wildcats are obviously glad to have him back.
“He was a first-team All-State guy,” Logan coach Zach Green said in an earlier interview. “He scored 27 points a game last year. He’s a Logan kid, so having a kid like that back in your program and the things that he can do for you on the floor would be really good for us going forward.”
Early led Logan to a 20-5 season and a 12-2 mark in the Cardinal Conference last year, but the Wildcats were upset 61-55 at Poca in one of the two Class AA Region 4 co-championship games. The loss left Logan out of the state tournament, and that’s something that has eluded the tradition-rich Cats for the last seven years.
Early’s initial move to Beckley Prep was a big blow to the Wildcats. Logan had already lost three starters from last year’s team. Peter Noe, a 6-foot-10 center, and 6-1 forward Chucky Felder both graduated.
Also, brothers Drew Hatfield (5-11 senior) and Devin Hatfield (6-0 sophomore), who had transferred to Logan after the 2018 football season from Mingo Central, went back home to MCHS. Both played big roles in the Wildcats’ success last season. Drew Hatfield (14.5 points, 10.5 assists, 4.0 rebounds, 3.6 steals) was a starter and one of the team’s top scorers. Devin Hatfield, a reserve, saw his role grow as the season progressed.
Logan does return guards Mitchell Hainer and Noah Cook, but will field a young squad for the upcoming season with an influx of freshmen and sophomore players expected to help take up the slack.
The Wildcats, however, reportedly lost 6-3 guard/forward Parker Davis on Monday as the freshman transferred to Martin County High School in Inez, Kentucky. Many had expected Davis to play some this year for the Wildcats in their youth movement.
With Early returning for his last season of high school ball, many hope he can lead the Wildcats back to the state tournament.
Early has several Division I offers, including West Virginia, Duquesne, Robert Morris and Ohio, but has yet to make his decision.