Ebers headed to William Woods

Theo Tate

Wellsville-Middletown graduate Clayton Ebers will continue his basketball career at William Woods University next year. THEO TATE PHOTO

Clayton Ebers enjoyed a successful four-year basketball career at Wellsville-Middletown High School that included two all-Eastern Missouri Conference awards, two district championships and an all-state award.

Now, he’s looking to continue his success into the next level.

Ebers signed a letter of intent to play basketball for William Woods University in the 2021-22 school year on May 29, two weeks after graduating from W-M. William Woods is a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics school in Fulton.

“William Woods was actually the latest of the schools that I actually visited,” Ebers said. “I got to compare it to all of the other schools that I had previously visited. It just kind of blew everyone out of the water.”

Ebers said deciding to play basketball at William Woods was not an easy decision.

“The recruiting process is fun, but it does not go without a lot of stress,” he said. “Figuring out where I’m going to spend the next four years of my life is a big decision. Up to this point, it’s one of the biggest decisions I ever made in my life. It was a really stressful decision, but now that I made it and now that it’s over with, I can now focus on how I’m going to make that team better whenever I come in and I don’t have to necessarily focus on who I’m going to play for anymore.”

Ebers will join a William Woods program that is coached by Charles Belt, who wrapped up his second season as the Owls’ coach this winter.

“Every coach I was around, they all were amazing human beings and they all treated me with the utmost respect,” Ebers said. “I can tell whenever I went to make the decision, I could tell just by the nature of William Woods and how competitive that coach (Belt) was and how he wanted to win. He has the same mindset as I do. Once I figured that out, it was easy sailing from there.”

Ebers turned in an outstanding senior season at W-M this winter, leading the Tigers in scoring at 20 points per game and helping his team finish 19-7 and capture a Class 2 district championship. He also was named to the all-EMO, all-District 7, Northeast Missouri Media all-district and Class 2 all-state teams.

Next winter, Ebers will look to help William Woods get back on the winning track. The Owls finished 7-8 last winter, their second straight losing season.

“My goal is to come in and have an immediate impact,” Ebers said. “It starts in summer ball and practicing and being better and working hard. That’s where it starts. They never won a conference championship in their entire program history. They’re on the brink of it now. The players we have on our team now are the best players that William Woods had in a very long time. I think if anyone is going to win a conference championship, it’s going to be this squad. I know that I could contribute and be a part of that legendary season.”

After his high school basketball season came to an end, Ebers played for the Zoski Elite AAU team, which is coached by LaPhonso Ellis, Jr., who recently accepted a head coaching position at Carnahan High School in St. Louis after working one season as junior varsity/assistant coach for the Montgomery County High School basketball team.

“I played summer basketball before with school teams and whatnot, but this was the first AAU team I ever played for,” Ebers said. “Zo (Ellis) is an amazing coach. Honestly, I contributed a lot of my progress over the past year to him. He’s been a great coach. He instilled a lot of things in my head that really helped me out when it comes to making a decision and just being a better basketball player and all.”



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