Celt Johnathan Doutt leaps to the hoop in a game this past season. Doutt will play for George Fox University next winter. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

Of the Keizertimes

For anyone who follows McNary High School basketball it will likely come as no surprise that senior Johnathan Doutt will be continuing his athletic career in college.

Doutt, a three-year starter on the varsity team who averaged 17 points a game and shot an astonishing 97 percent from the free throw line in league contests, is headed to George Fox University next fall.

“It will be difficult to fill his shoes next season, but George Fox is a great program and Johnathan will be a great fit in their system,” said Ryan Kirch, McNary head coach.

Kirch put Doutt on the radar of Bruin Head Coach Maco Hamilton during a clinic and Hamilton came to see Doutt play in a game against South Salem in January.

“He has a very high skill set, which jumped out to us. On top of that his feel for the game was extremely high and we value that,” Hamilton said.

Doutt visited the school last month spending a night in the dorms and getting to know some of the team’s returning players.

“They have two guard spots that are a bit interchangeable, but they have a returning player in the other spot, one of the top in the league, and I’m hoping to learn a lot from him,” Doutt said.

He entertained offers from several Division 3 schools, which cannot offer athletic scholarships, but he did earn one for academics at GFU.

“The academics were what I tried to focus on,” Doutt said. “I’m undeclared right now, but I’m thinking about a degree in business or sports marketing and George Fox seemed like a good place for that.”

During his time in the Celtic program, Doutt has seen his fair share of struggles as the team rebuilt under a new head coach, but he said it was the off-the-court moments that stick in his mind the most.

“We went down to University of Oregon the past three years and got to take part in a