By Wes McCurtis
CYPRESS, CA – Sophomore forward Austin Payne has accepted a full ride scholarship to play at Rocky Mountain College next season. Rocky Mountain College is a member of the NAIA located in Billings, Montana. With the signing, all five starters from the 2015-16 Cypress College men's basketball team have moved on to play at the next level. "It feels good. Coach Drew can say that he had five guys on one team move on to the next level. Even though I'm the last one, I'm a patient person so I always thought it would happen. I just had to wait for the right opportunity," said Payne.
The All-OEC Second Team selection helped lead the Chargers to a 22-7 overall record and 2nd place finish in the OEC last season. Payne was a key contributor during the Chargers' historic run, averaging 11points, 4.5 rebounds, and a team-leading 1block per game. His defensive intensity and remarkable athleticism made him an essential piece to rebuilding the program under 3rd year Head Coach Andrew Alhadeff.
Payne will begin at Rocky Mountain College as a redshirt this spring and plans to be an active member of the team come the 2017-18 season. "For right now when I get out there I'm just going to work on my game and focus on school while I get accustomed to the program and the area. I'll have myself prepared for next year."
Payne will major in health and human performance and look to pursue a career in nursing.
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