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Published: Thursday, 4/14/2011

Central's Lehman to play at Ferris State

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