Zac Ward has earned everything he gets.
That was the feeling expressed by Mount Dora Bible boys basketball coach Stephen Hayes as he watched Ward sign a national letter of intent on Monday with Harding University, an NCAA Division II school in Searcy, Ark.
“Zac has such a bright future,” Hayes said. “He’s so mature and he knows what a work ethic is all about. He’s definitely getting what he deserves and I think everyone at this school is proud of him and happy for him.”
Ward has played for Hayes for four years and is the school record holder for 3-point shots attempted and made. As a senior, he helped the Bulldogs to a 22-7 record and the Class 3A-District 5 championship.
He scored an average of 23.1 points per game as a senior and totalled 18.3 ppg for his career. Ward scored 1,926 points in his career, good for fifth on the school’s all-time list.
Effective from all areas of the floor, but particularly lethal from behind the, Ward established a new school record with 267 3-pointers in his career.
“That’s a record that might not be broken,” Hayes said.
Mount Dora Bible won 79 games during Ward’s four years in a Bulldogs uniform.
“We accomplished what we did because of Zac’s leadership, on and off the court,” Hayes said. “We’re definitely going to miss having him around the campus. He’s such a wonderful influence on everyone who comes into contact with him.
“He’s a complete class act and you can’t say that about a lot of kids his age.”
Harding University is a private school affiliated with the Churches of Christ. It has 6,295 students and competes in a variety of sports, including men’s and women’s basketball, baseball, football, men’s and women’s golf, and many others.
The Bisons are members of the Great American Conference except for women’s soccer, which competes in the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association.
Among its notable alumni are Willie and Korie Robertson from the reality show, Duck Dynasty.
The Bisons are coached by Jeff Morgan, who will enter his 22nd season as coach in 2014-15. He has a career record of 381-247, including a 364-237 mark at Harding.
In 2013-14, the men’s basketball team at Harding University was 15-15.
Hayes said Ward received five full-ride offers, including two Divison I deals, but he chose Harding because, “he wanted to stay in a Christian school.”