Ed. note: This story originally ran in The Willistonain. It was written by Staff Writer Oskar Lee ’18.
In a rare move, Duncan LeXander, rising basketball star, turned down a college scholarship and returned to Williston as a postgraduate.
Duncan signed his letter of intent to play at Presbyterian in South Carolina on November 16, 2016. In May he graduated from Williston. On June 29, 2017, he announced on Twitter that he had de-committed from Presbyterian.
“After careful consideration, and talking with my family, coaches, and those closest to me, I have decided to de-commit and ask my release from Presbyterian College,” he wrote. He went on to thank everyone for their understanding and ended by thanking former Presbyterian Coach Gregg Nibert for recruiting him. Coach Nibert resigned on April 12th after 28 seasons.
Duncan then played for his summer league team. Team Magic Elite, in Memphis for two-and-a-half months in tournaments throughout the United States such as Las Vegas, Atlanta, and Kansas City.
On September 6, Duncan announced on Twitter that he would be making his return to Williston as a PG.
“It is weird knowing that most schools don’t let you take a Post-Grad year but I am happy to be back,” Duncan told The Willistonian. “It’s great seeing everyone from last year and meeting some new people as well.”
Despite many options, Duncan chose to return to Williston was because of the “Williston community and coach Farmer.” Duncan continued, “I had a great year last year. Knowing that if I came back I would know people already and I am used to how it works so I wouldn’t need to fix anything. This played a big factor in my decision.”
With his return Duncan adds more depth to a team that successfully went 15-7 last year. As three more basketball PG’s will join with the team this year, Duncan hopes to be leading the charge.
His ultimate goals are “Winning a NEPSAC championship, and I would like to have another good year at Williston like I did last year and hopefully trying to get more offers.” This was another factor that played into Duncan’s decision to do a post grad year. He said that “High major Division 1 schools wanted me to do a PG year to get stronger and more consistent.”
Duncan already has offers from Charleston Southern, UNH, and East Tennessee State (All NCAA Division 1 schools) and hopes that this season shall open more opportunities for him and hopefully receive more offers from other schools.
Not only is it Duncan’s second year but it is Coach Farmer’s second year at Williston, too.
Farmer remarked, “It feels great having him back, it is not only good for the basketball team but great for school. We talked over summer and discussed how he was in between a couple different options. In the end, he felt that Williston was the best fit for him.”
It is a new team this year as the Varsity team lost five seniors last year but both Duncan and Farmer are not affected by this at all.
Duncan said, “Last year our strengths were in different areas compared to the team this year. It is a different playing style. It is not only my second year but Coach Farmer’s as well with the team.” He continued, “Young players from last year have grown and will contribute more. Players this year know what to expect and how to play.”
Coach Farmer also commented about this year’s team, saying, “I think on paper we look pretty talented, it all comes down to how much work and effort people put in during the offseason. We just really focus on trying to improve every single day individually and as a team”.
Duncan’s talent as an athlete is undeniable. He is also apart of the varsity track & field team; last year he placed 5th in the high jump in the NEPSAC Championships last year with a height of 6’0. Despite his athletic reputation on campus, being at Williston was more than just basketball for him.
Coach Farmer said “I think it’s an incredible decision given everything going on in his life up to this point and to decide last minute. I think this extra year is going to help him improve as a person on and off the court and will make him very successful in college.”
His teammate and roommate from last year, Abood Abuissa ’18 said, “I couldn’t imagine going another year without him so I am thrilled he is back, he helped me adjust to life in the US when I first came last year. It’s lob city. It’s awesome to be able to graduate together with him.”
Abood was also recruited here last year as junior from Qatar. After playing one year with Duncan, he expressed his excitement to have Duncan back.
“He is going to helps us a lot in terms of basketball,” Abood said. “He is experienced and his basketball IQ is impeccable. Off the court he is one of the nicest people I know. I think a lot of people are happy to see him back.”