Ball State Basketball is coming off a good season with a 19-13 record. But the team will have new help beyond the three point arc next season.

Austin Nehls, a sharp shooting guard from Central Connecticut State University (CCSU),  is transferring to Ball State. 

Growing up in Tucson, Arizona, Nehls fell in love with the Arizona Wildcats basketball team. Soon after, he fell in love with the NBA. He idolized Kobe Bryant for his competitive nature and desire to achieve basketball greatness. 

“[Basketball] has been something I’ve loved since a young age and I’ve only come to love it more as I’ve gotten older,” Nehls said. “There is something satisfying about the fact that you can practice on your own and really control how good you become.”

Nehls was named the 2013-14 Arizona Daily Star Player of the Year after averaging 20.8 points, 6.2 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 2.0 steals per game his senior year at Catalina Foothills High School in Tucson.

“He’s got a great shot,” Catalina Foothills principal Jody Brase said. “He wasn’t at the level of Ball State Basketball in high school, but you could see he had so much potential.” 

Brase was Catalina’s athletic director during Nehls’ senior year. 

During his time as a Blue Devil, the 6’3’’, 185-pound junior averaged 9.7 points, 3.9 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game through 32 starts in 32 games. He averaged a 38.5 field goal percentage and a 34.4 three-point percentage. 

Nehls, who will be a senior, is just as successful in the classroom. He achieved a 4.0 GPA last semester at CCSU. 

“I chose to transfer to Ball State because they are a good team with a winning history and I felt at home with coach Whitford,” Nehls said. 

Nehls said he wants to contribute to a winning season for Ball State basketball. He also has ambitions to make a run at the NCAA Tournament. 

And considering his past honors, he may be able to do so. The 2015-16 basketball season brought him Northeast Conference All-Rookie Honors. He made the Northeast Conference Academic Honor Roll and the Commissioner's Honor Roll after the 2016-17 season. His efforts during the 2017-18 season won him Northeast Conference Men's Basketball Scholar-Athlete honors.

“He leads by example and has a positive future ahead of him,” Brase said. 

After graduation, Nehls hopes to play basketball overseas. When his basketball career is over, he wants to go into the business world and become a financial advisor. 

Contact Kraig Younts with comments at jkyounts@bsu.edu.