Lavontay Ott started to realize he might have what it takes to play Division I basketball after his super junior season for Hesperia.

Ott made good on that realization when he signed with Northwestern State University of Louisiana in mid-April.

“It feels amazing,” Ott said. “I can improve everything. I’m going to try to come in right away and assert myself as a leader on the team.”

NSU is located in Natchitoches, Louisiana. The Demons are coming off a 13-16 season and went 7-11 in Southland Conference play.

“Vontay has the ability to make plays in open court as well as the half court with his high-level athleticism,” NSU coach Mike McConathy said. “We like versatile players and he can play several positions in our system. He is a lefty with a shifty gear that makes plays at the rim. Defensively, he is long armed and plays very aggressive which fits our pressing style of play.”

The Scorpions star guard closed out his career with a 47-11 combined record in his junior and senior season after transferring from Excelsior. He averaged 18 points per game, 12 rebounds and four blocks per game as a senior. He helped Hesperia to back-to-back Mojave River League titles.

Hesperia coach Calvin Tang started to get an inkling that his star player could play at Div. I-ball around the same time as Ott. That was only further cemented as he started up his senior season leading the Scorpions to an 11-4 record against a tough schedule.

“Throughout the season I think it showed coaches more so that he could play at a high level,” Tang said. “That’s when we kind of knew he has a chance to be a really good player and he could really play at that level.

“He’s really come a long way, and I don’t think people really understand how much time he’s put it.”

Aaron Alston was the last Hesperia boys basketball player to play at the Div. I-level. After graduating from Hesperia in 2012, he played at a junior college before landing at Southern University in Louisiana and later moving on to play at Cal State L.A.

Ott also had some interest from Cal State Monterey Bay. He said he plans to major in forensic psychology.

Matthew Peters can be reached at 760-955-5365 or mpeters@vvdailypress.com. You can also follow him on Twitter @DP_MattPeters.