Westover Class AAA state discus champion Dontrevious Ousley, front row, center, signs with Division I North Carolina on Wednesday as he’s joined by, from left, stepbrother, Eric Sampson Jr.; stepfather, Eric Sampson Sr.; aunt, Braghina Ousley (standing); mother, Shakira Sampson; grandmother, Caroline Walker; grandmother Renita Ousley; and father, Arelious Ousley. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
ALBANY — You can almost see it now, a cartoon version of Dontrevious Ousley on a computer screen, whirling a discus into outer space — watching it sail into the darkness and then bounce off the moon and skip across the solar system, ricocheting from Venus to Mars and then landing back on earth at Ousley’s feet.
Well, maybe. But that’s the heart of Ousley, who dreams of creating video games some day. And it wouldn’t be a far stretch of his imagination to incorporate a discus into one of those games.
That unique combination of discus and computer animation are taking Ousley from Westover High to the University of North Carolina, where he will pursue both.
Ousley made it official Wednesday afternoon at Westover when he signed a national letter-of-intent to accept a scholarship to North Carolina amid a large group of family and friends.
Ousley wore a Tar-Heel Blue oxford shirt and tie — and a smile.
“When I got the call from North Carolina I didn’t jump up and down or go crazy or anything, but I was happy — real happy,’’ said Ousley, who signed late because he was waiting for the Tar Heels.
He had other offers, including a sweet deal from Florida A&M, which approached Ousley right after he won his second consecutive Class AAA state title in the discus last month.
“FAMU offered him a big scholarship, an offer no kid would turn down. They offered him everything and the kitchen sink,’’ said Westover athletic director Harley Calhoun, who helps coach the track & field teams at Westover. “I thought he would take it, but he turned it down. FAMU kept calling. They couldn’t believe he turned them down.
“But he was persistent when a lot of kids would have taken it to make sure they had something. And it was a big scholarship, hard for a kid or his parents to turn down. He told me, ‘Coach, that’s not where I want to go.’ ”
Not only is North Carolina a big-time Division I program in the ACC, but the university had something FAMU didn’t have.
“My major is computer animation, and FAMU didn’t offer it. North Carolina does,’’ said Ousley, who graduated with a 3.4 GPA. “I want to design video games.’’
North Carolina is getting what it wants, too.
Ousley is not only a two-time state champ, but he was ranked in the Top 10 discus throwers in the nation all season, and he became only the fourth high school discus thrower in the history of Georgia to throw for more than 190 feet — and only the third to accomplish the feat at the state championship.
He became the first boys track & field star to sign a big-time scholarship at Westover since Lakecia Ealey, a girls state champ in the 100 and 200 who signed with the University of Florida in 2004.
Ousley said he has aspirations of winning at the next level.
“I want a national title in college,’’ he said. “The discus weighs more, so I will make an adjustment. I’ll drop off about 20 feet because of the weight of the discus, but I plan on throwing 170 to 180 feet as a freshman. That will probably be at the top of all freshman.’’
He wasn’t shocked or surprise that his patience paid off in waiting for North Carolina, just happy his plan came into fruition.
“My hard work paid off,’’ Ousley said. “That’s how I look at it. And I have more in the future to come.’’