Damien Odle, the 6’5” 210lb. soon-to-be Kiowa County High School senior, has spent his off-season on the court, playing showcases and summer ball in preparation for his final year in Maverick orange.
Last month Odle traveled to Oklahoma City, Okla., to tryout for the Kansas AAU Select Basketball team with 28 statewide hopefuls.
Odle was handpicked by Wichita Coach Brian Miller to tryout for the team, ultimately landing in the No. 11 spot on the 10-man roster.
“They told him to hang on; that he’s got a lot of potential,” said Damien’s father Bill. “But that he’s got a few things to work on. Brian Miller told him that he wouldn’t have any trouble playing college basketball somewhere. He’s at that level. And these games and summer leagues give him an opportunity to play in front of recruiters and to play some bigger schools.”
After the tryouts Odle returned to his off-season mainstay, playing in the Mid-American Youth Basketball organization — a league he has been a part of since his freshman year as a member of the Mavericks, who play as a league team helmed by Mavericks Head Coach Nick Perez.
Odle also received an invitation from the USA Junior Nationals to go to Columbus, Ohio, July 16-22 to play ball.
“It’s awesome,” said Odle. “It’s not every day I get the chance and honor to represent my town, my county and my school. For someone to notice me is special. It’s a special feeling. It’s an honor.”
Odle, in a letter to the community asking for assistance with his trip, acknowledged his teammates and Maverick coaches.
“I have learned so much from our coaches,” said Odle. “…not only in basketball but life in general. I have some of the very best friends and teammates that I could possibly ask for in our school. Thank you teammates and friends for pushing me so hard to be the best at what I do and that’s playing basketball.”
The affable #25 is also looking towards college. He says he wants to be a fish and game warden, but wants a shot to play basketball at a college level.
“Ever since I was a little guy I knew I wanted to play basketball and hoped that one day I would play at the collegiate level. I don’t really care where I play, but the bigger the better I guess.”