Austin Cross coming home to Troy

Published 1:50 pm Monday, April 22, 2024

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Former Charles Henderson star Austin Cross will be coming home to Troy to play for his father, Scott Cross, as he committed to play college basketball at Troy University this weekend.

Cross, who graduated from Charles Henderson last year, has been attending Florida Coastal Prep Sports Academy in Fort Walton, Fla.

“The season went great,” Cross said of playing in prep school. “I lived in a beach house with a couple of my teammates, so that was fun. My teammates that I lived with were great and we had a bunch of different people from different countries that we played with. I got to learn a lot being down there.”

Austin Cross was Pike’s top shooter in back-to-back state championship runs. (Photo by Josh Boutwell)

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Cross played for both Pike Liberal Arts School and Charles Henderson during his high school career, leading PLAS to an AISA State Championship in 2021-2023 and helping CHHS make it to just its second ever State Championship appearance in school history in 2022-2023.

During his junior campaign, Cross was named a finalist for the AISA Mr. Basketball, earned All-State honors and won The Messenger’s Winter Athlete of the Year. He averaged 21.2 points, 6.2 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game.

As a senior, Cross won The Messenger’s Player of the Year, was named Class 5A Player of the Year and was a finalist for Mr. Basketball. He also earned All-Messenger, Dothan Eagle Super 12 and All-State honors as he averaged 23.1 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.7 steals per game.

“Really I was just comparing the other colleges I had an opportunity with to Troy and I felt like Troy would help with my development the best,” Cross said of his decision to commit to his hometown school. “Troy will help me get to my end goal better than any of my other options, that was really the main thing.”

Cross will now get to play for his father for the first time in his life.

Cross helped lead Charles Henderson to the 5A State Championship Game in 2023. (Photo by Josh Boutwell)

“Hopefully it will be great,” Cross said with a laugh about playing for his father. “He’s never really coached me but he’s always been in the stands coaching me from there and giving me the side eye when I mess up. I’m just looking forward to it. I have no idea really what he’ll be like on the court but I know he’s tough, energetic and he gets after it. He expects excellence and I expect that.”

Cross said that he looks at other players, like Creighton’s Doug McDermott, that have played for their fathers in the past and hopes to have that kind of success.

“I’m looking at those guys succeeding and I have that same opportunity here with my dad, if I just put the work in,” Cross emphasized.

Cross’ one year at Florida Coastal Prep will not count against his eligibility for college, so he will start at Troy with four full years of eligibility. Cross, who plans to major in marketing at Troy, already has his freshman year of classes under his belt after taking part in dual enrollment during high school.

Cross has his eyes on one major goal in college, a championship.

“Winning a championship and getting to the NCAA Tournament is the goal,” he flatly said. “I want to help the team accomplish that goal. That’s really all I want to do. I just want to help the team win a championship and get to the (NCAA) Tournament. That’s what I’m concentrating on.”