Aaron Ponder Shoots For Offers

Berea (Ky.) Madison Southern was a top 15 high school basketball team in the state of Kentucky last season. Though the team was loaded with seniors, junior Aaron Ponder was an important part to the team's overall success. Scout Kentucky Preps recently caught up with the 6-foot-2 shooter to check on his progress as he heads into his final year.

Aaron Ponder may not be a household name on the Kentucky hoops scene just yet, but that stands to change once his senior season on the hardwood gets underway. The sharpshooter made 102 three-pointers last season to help lead his Madison Southern squad to a 22-10 record. And while eclipsing the century mark from three-point land is quite a testament to his shooting ability, the fact that Ponder did it while hitting 43% from beyond the arc makes it that much more impressive.

Ponder got in-depth with Scout Kentucky Preps about his game and style preference recently.

"I am a shooting guard, but can play either guard spot comfortably," Ponder said. "I would typically prefer an up tempo game, but I would be perfectly fine if things were slowed down."

There is no questioning that Ponder's perimeter game is top notch, but the versatile guard is more than just a knockdown shooter. A look at his stat-line from last season in which he averaged close to 15 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals a game, shows he is an all-around player that can help his team in any number of ways.

"As a player, a few of my biggest strengths would be scoring - particularly from the perimeter, staying mentally tough, and just my basketball I.Q.," Ponder said.

With all of the accomplishments from his solid junior campaign, Ponder is still not resting on his laurels during the off season. He recently attended the USA Junior Nationals in Columbus, Ohio and an elite camp at Eastern Kentucky University. Ponder has worked hard on his game during the summer and plans to keep progressing as the new season approaches.

"I intend on improving all parts of my game before the season starts back, but my main focuses have been my strength and quickness," Ponder said. "Over summer, I was in the weight room often and made sure to get up a lot of shots every day. I also did quite a bit of work with ball handling."

With six of the top eight scorers from his high school team graduating, his Madison Southern squad will have a completely revamped look for his senior year.

"We will all have big shoes to fill with our seniors leaving," Ponder said. "I think that we will be a team that grows as the year progresses and some of our younger guys start getting more experience."

When asked about his leadership capabilities for his final season, the 6-foot-2, 175-pound guard was quick to admit he's ready for the challenges that lie ahead.

"I feel that I have made major improvements to my game over summer and hopefully that will show when the season kicks off," Ponder said. "I know that I will need to be more of a vocal leader for my teammates this year and my role as a player will change quite a bit as well."

As one of the best shooters in the state, Ponder has received interest from a number of colleges. Among the schools that have inquired are Central Florida, Kent State, EKU, Northern Kentucky, Bellarmine, Transylvania, and Berea College.

"I am very interested in playing college basketball," Ponder said.

Ponder relayed to ScoutKentuckyPreps.com that in addition to actually playing basketball, he has a love for the game that he hopes to pursue in the future.

"I am undecided as far as a major [in college], but have thought about education," Ponder said. "I would really love to be in a position where I could be involved with basketball at any level, and share my knowledge of the game with others."

First things first though. With the three-point shot being such an important part of the college game today, there is no doubt that schools will keep a close eye on Ponder this season. Meanwhile, the senior plans to keep working hard and improving along the way.

"Really, most of my time is consumed with basketball and trying to improve my game," Ponder said.

Stay tuned to ScoutKentuckyPreps.com during the season for more updates on Aaron Ponder.

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