BILLINGS — Hardin senior Famous Lefthand plans to continue his basketball career at Rocky Mountain College, he told 406mtsports.com on Thursday.
Lefthand signed with Rocky on Wednesday, and he'll receive a full-ride scholarship, he said. The guard/wing will graduate from Hardin this coming spring and join the Battlin’ Bears in 2020-21.
"Since day one, I put in work to become the best I possibly could. Getting a full ride was my goal and my family’s goal," he said. "I worked my butt off to get it."
Lefthand said Montana Western expressed interest, but nobody besides Rocky extended an offer. He suspects he didn't hear from many schools because he didn't put himself out there very much.
Luckily for Lefthand, the Battlin' Bears found him. They first reached out to him at Hardin's home game against Sidney on Dec. 22, 2018, he said, and he went on an official visit this summer.
Hardin's boys basketball team plays at a rapid pace, and Rocky's coaching staff told Lefthand he would fit well in their up-tempo offense, he said. He is prepared to play both guard and both forward positions for the Battlin' Bears.
Lefthand’s sister and stepbrother both graduated from Rocky, and they recommended the school.
"They told me about how much help they got and support they got from there," he said.
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The proximity of Rocky to Hardin was a positive for Lefthand, but he didn't care how far he went to play at the next level, he said.
In Andrew Round Face’s four years as Hardin’s head coach, Lefthand is the first to sign with a four-year college.
“It’s a testament to his dedication to the game,” Round Face said. “I consider myself really lucky to see his worth ethic, see his drive, see his love for the game. I think Rocky really got a good deal.”
Lefthand is the second local athlete to sign with Rocky this week — Billings West’s Cade Tyson signed on Monday.
As a junior, Lefthand averaged more than 21 points per game and earned his second straight all-Eastern A first team selection. He also led Hardin to its second straight Class A state title game, where the Bulldogs lost to Billings Central 62-44. Hardin beat Central the previous year for the championship.
"Now I can just focus on going back and winning a title," Lefthand said.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story listed the wrong Lefthand family member who graduated from Rocky. That has been fixed.