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October 31, 2013

MEN'S COLLEGE BASKETBALL: Hale to transfer to Bellarmine

Former NA standout going to D2 school after stint at Purdue

LOUISVILLE — Bellarmine University men’s basketball coach Scott Davenport announced on Thursday that former New Albany High School standout Donnie Hale will transfer to Bellarmine from Purdue University at the conclusion of the current academic semester, making the 6-foot-8 forward eligible to play for the Knights as early as December.

“We are thrilled to have Donnie Hale become part of the Bellarmine basketball family,” Davenport said in a statement released by Bellarmine. “He is a first-rate quality player coming to us from a first-class program at Purdue. I have followed his career since he was a sophomore at New Albany when [former New Albany and Bellarmine guard] Braydon Hobbs was a senior. He went on to become their No. 2 all-time rebounder, their No. 3 all-time scoring leader in addition to becoming a two-time all-state performer in Indiana. One of his greatest strengths is he is a winner on and off the court.”

Davenport has been impressed with Hale’s attitude since the former two-time News and Tribune Area Player of the Year decided to leave Purdue.

“I have been very impressed with Donnie and his entire family throughout this process,” Davenport said. “He has been very mature and responsible to his family and our staff. I am very anxious to have him join this year’s team. I am equally proud of our players and their tremendous reaction to him joining our team. They truly have our program’s best interest at heart, and that is why they are very special young men.”

A 2010 New Albany graduate and a former Indiana All-Star, Hale led the Bulldogs to an 89-9 record, two sectional titles and a regional crown during his four years, Hale signed with Purdue, but attended Bridgton Prep in Maine for a year prior to joining the Boilermaker program.

After redshirting during the 2011-12 season, Hale saw his first collegiate action last season when he played in 32 games — starting eight — and averaged 3.8 points, 2.8 rebounds and 14.5 minutes per game. Hale has three years of eligibility remaining.

“Once I decided to transfer, I knew I wanted to go to Bellarmine,” Hale said in a statement. “I got to know Coach Davenport while he was recruiting Braydon, and we talked a lot while I was still in high school. I feel really comfortable at Bellarmine. I know the players and it’s a great culture.”

Hale added that the opportunity to play in front of a home crowd and the chance to play for a national championship also pointed him toward Bellarmine. 

“I think Bellarmine is a perfect fit for me,” he said.

New Albany High School boys’ basketball coach Jim Shannon, who coached Hale throughout his high school career, agrees with his former star forward.

“I think he will have a great career at Bellarmine,” Shannon said. “I have nothing but accolades for Donnie about his high school career. He made a tremendous impact over the four years he was a member of the New Albany varsity basketball team. We enjoyed a lot of success during those four years.”

— News and Tribune

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