By CHRISSY SMITH
SLIDELL — Salmen’s Khari Price is used to playing in high-pressure situations with a lofty goal on his shoulders all while leading his team as the point guard.
Now Price will look to do the same, but at the college level after signing a full-paid scholarship to the University of Dayton on Monday.
Price was offered scholarships from Western Kentucky University, TCU, Troy, South Florida, Tulane, Mississippi State and Morehead State. But after visiting Dayton, which is located in Ohio, Price said his mind was made up.
“I’ve always wanted to live up north, and I loved the fan support and players. It just felt like home,” Price said.
He considered going to WKU because former Salmen player T.J. Price is a member of that squad. Khari and T.J. are not related even though they share the same last name, and the two text two or three times a week.
“I know T.J. wanted me to come up there, but I needed to branch out on my own,” Price said.
His decision wasn’t solely made on basketball either. Salmen Head Coach Jay Carlin said Price spent 45 minutes with an academic advisor on his visit to Dayton.
As a freshman, Price will play back-up to senior point guard Kevin Dillard, who is considered to be one of the best point guards in the Atlantic-10 Conference. Price said he will learn a lot from Dillard just by playing against him in practice every day. Then he should get to start his final three seasons. He is expected to play between 12-15 minutes a game as a freshman.
“It’s a great opportunity. He went up there and met the coach and when he came back he was very happy,” Carlin said. “The coaches were impressed with him as a player and how inquisitive he was. He understands the game. He’s a coach on the floor and that’s instinctive. I can trust him when he’s out there. He can play the whole game without a turnover.”
Price averaged 18 points per game during his senior season, but averaged 27 points per game against Salmen’s 10 toughest scheduled opponents.
The Salmen senior plans on majoring in physical therapy or business.
“I’m looking forward to the change of scenery, but I’m a little nervous about being so far away. My mom didn’t want me to go so far, but she said she is proud of me and happy for me. Hard work really does pay off,” Price said.