By Mark W. Miller
Killeen Daily Herald
Killeen High guard Benjamin Pitts probably could have continued his basketball career closer to home, but when Lincoln Trail College, a two-year school in Robinson, Ill., came calling, Pitts saw it as the perfect opportunity to strike out on his own.
"I didn't want to stay in Texas because I didn't want to have to come home like every weekend," he said after signing his letter of intent in the KHS library. "I need to get used to the college life and learn how to be on my own."
Pitts, the co-Defensive MVP in District 16-4A, averaged 8.2 points, 5.8 assists, 3.6 steals and 3.5 rebounds last season for the Roos, who finished 26-8 and earned a final No. 14 ranking in the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches Class 4A poll.
Pitts won't be totally isolated. He has relatives about 3 hours north in Chicago.
Pitts was often assigned to shut down the opposing team's top scorer. That ability should serve him well at Lincoln Trail.
"He's going to bring a level of defensive intensity to the game that's going to help them be competitive for the next two years," Killeen coach Jason Fossett said. "And hopefully he'll come back closer to home after that so we can see him a little bit more often."
Pitts credited Fossett, who just finished his first season guiding the Roos, for making him a better player.
"They stayed on top of me, kept pushing me while my dad was gone and stuff," he said.
Pitts father Bryan, a sergeant in the Army, has served two tours in Iraq and will be leaving again in September.
Pitts played all four years on the KHS varsity and was a vital part of the Roos' success last season.
"He was a great leader," Fossett said. "He played hard and set the example for the rest of (the team). He was kind of the wheel that made us go. We had Jordan Brown and Tre Nichols working the point, but he was the glue that held us together.
"He's a good kid. We're going to definitely miss him."
Contact Mark W. Miller at firstname.lastname@example.org