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Central's Lehman to play at Ferris State

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Drew Lehman, 20, dribbles between two Findlay players during the state playoffs.

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Drew Lehman's high school basketball career ended on Ohio's biggest stage at the Division I state tournament in Columbus, and his college career will start in Big Rapids, Mich., at Ferris State University.

The 5-11 senior guard said he will sign his letter of intent today at Central Catholic, where he was a three-year varsity starter for the Irish under coach Jim Welling.

Lehman said was recruited by Bulldogs coach Bill Sall as a shooting guard, but may also be used at the point. FSU, an NCAA Division II program, posted a 24-8 record this past season, and won the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Cenference North Division championship.

"They have a good basketball program, a good school and I really liked the coaches," whose only other scholarship offer came from GLIAC North runner-up Grand Valley State. "It just had the best feel for me, and I felt like it was the best place for me to go next year."

Lehman, who carries a 4.2 grade-point average, plans major in mathematics education.

On the court, he helped lead Central (20-5) on a surprise tourney run to the state semifinals where the Irish were edged 48-46 by eventual champion Cincinnati La Salle on a tip-in in the closing seconds. It was the first final-four appearance for Central since 1949.

Lehman averaged 14 points, 4.0 assists and 3.0 rebounds and earned first-team All-City League and All-Blade honors, as well as second-team D-I all-district.

As a junior, Lehman led a 20-3 Irish team to the school's first City League boys basketball championship in 42 years.

Lehman said he declined a walk-on position at the University of Toledo, where his father, current UT men's basketball radio color commentator Jay Lehman, started at point guard for four years (1977-81) under coach Bob Nichols on three Mid-American Conference championship teams and UT's last two NCAA tournament teams.

Contact Steve Junga at: sjunga@theblade.com or 419-724-6461.

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