Drone Soars Above Southern Illinois

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By WSIL Sports

JUNCTION -- It's not hard to spot Gallatin County center Andrew Drone.

"In sixth-grade, I was 6-foot tall and by the time I was in eighth-grade, I was 6'8", so I've always been huge."

Now a junior in high school, Drone stands 6 feet 11 inches tall and weighs 277 pounds, making him the biggest player in southern Illinois.

"I've had nicknames from Bigfoot to Ogre, you know anything you can imagine I've had it."

"I love it," Hawks junior forward Patrick Lowe said. "I've been playing with him since fifth-grade and he's just always been taller than us. He's a big dude."

His size 18 shoes are the building blocks of Gallatin County's 19-8 season. Drone has paced the Hawks, averaging 23 points, 10 rebounds and eight blocks a game.

"You've got somebody you can go to," Hawks head coach Radar Patton said. "Some teams don't have a go-to player and fortunately I've got him and he's a game changer."

"I'm trying to clog up the middle and score down low whenever I can on offense," Drone added. "It's fun when you can just out muscle people and get them out of the way."

When he's not scoring, Drone is distributing.

"He opens everything up for everybody," Patton said. "The last month he's been double and triple-teamed and that opens it up for my guards."

Andrew's hard work on the court is starting to pay off. Dozens of college coaches have already contacted him, with full-ride scholarships hanging in the balance.

"It's been fun. This fall I got my first offer from Wright State in Dayton, Ohio and there's several other schools I've talked to that I'm supposed to make visits to this summer."
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