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Devils Prospects: Military academy transfer hopes to bring talents to Hurley's team next fall

William Felton will join the Sun Devils next fall after transferring to a military academy for his senior year


"Devils Prospects: Promising players found by ASU recruiting." Illustration published on Monday, Sept. 14, 2020.

A day in the life at Hargrave Military Academy for power forward William Felton is very different from his time at Millbrook Magnet High School in Raleigh, North Carolina. A typical day involves multiple roll calls, workouts and formation walks.

"After class, we'll have practice throughout the day, and then we'll have formation again for the second time around lunch," Felton said. "After we have practice again, we'll either have more military time or our version of study hall. It's different, it's definitely different." 

Felton attended Millbrook from his freshman year to his junior year before deciding to transfer to Hargrave for his senior year. 

He thought transferring to Hargrave would help him prepare for his future, saying, "If you're able to get through the military stuff, waking up at 6 a.m., then you'll be ready for college."

Felton verbally committed to ASU on Sept. 20, 2020, and is looking forward to using his senior season at Hargrave to prepare himself for next fall. 

Felton knew he wanted to play basketball collegiately, but the power forward did not think he would eventually receive 12 offers from Division I schools. 

"Coaches would contact me more frequently my sophomore year of high school, and around mid-junior year is when I got my first couple of offers," Felton said. 

One of those coaches was ASU men's basketball assistant coach Anthony Coleman, who Felton said made him feel like family. 

"Usually, I just have a conversation with the coaches about basketball and I thought that coach (Bobby) Hurley had a lot of knowledge to give, and coach Coleman called me every day and I really enjoyed his personality and the way my parents enjoyed them as well," Felton said. 

His parents introduced him to basketball at five years old, and he knew he was destined to play collegiately. It was just a matter of time before he could fulfill his dream. 

"My parents introduced me to the game, my mom went to Winston-Salem and played there in college and showed me a lot of what she knew and definitely helped me," Felton said. 

Millbrook High School head coach Christopher Davis said Felton was a "quiet monster" who will do whatever it takes to win, no matter where he is playing. 

"He is tough, he is physical, but he isn't saying anything or talking trash on the court," Davis said. "Everyone could be talking trash to him, but he just plays consistently hard."

At 6-foot-8, Felton is working to improve his running skills and credits his time at Millbrook for helping him run faster on the court.

"One of the things we did at Millbrook was run, we would run the entire game, being able to outrun the other team is a big thing for me," Felton said.

Davis echoed a similar sentiment about Felton's ability to run on the court. 

"He is not a 'deer' by any stretch, but he is a strong 'moose,'" Davis said. "He is not the guy that is jumping over fences, but he is the guy who will run through one if he has to. He is super physical and gets a lead off the floor quickly, but he is not a pushover."

Felton might've decided to play his senior season at Hargrave, but he still appreciates the time he spent at Millbrook. 

"Will was one of the best teammates I ever had," said former teammate and University of Louisville commit Eric Van Der Heijden. "I think Will will be successful wherever he goes because he works hard and does what he needs to do."

Felton said his consistency sets him apart from other basketball recruits. While at Millbrook, Felton averaged 13 points and eight rebounds per game while maintaining focus on his defense. 

He also is inspired by NBA Hall of Famer Dominique Wilkins, who he watched on Hardwood Classics programming on NBA TV as a kid admiring the way he played.

"When I was growing up I would watch Hardwood Classics on TV from time to time and I liked the way he played and thought he was really interesting," Felton said. 

He eventually hopes to be drafted into the NBA but is planning on majoring in psychology at ASU. 

But for now, he can't wait to join Hurley and the Sun Devils next fall.

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