Staff report

VERSAILLES — Versailles High School junior basketball standout Justin Ahrens announced via Twitter on Saturday that he has committed to play for coach Thad Matta and the Ohio State Buckeyes.

Ahrens tweeted on Saturday “Blessed to announce that I will be attenting The Ohio State University!!”

Ahrens just recently received the scholarship offer from OSU and it was the first from one of the NCAA’s power conferences.

He told the Columbus Dispatch after getting the offer that, “Coach Matta was saying today that the past year or two have been a little down and he’s been getting away from his normal tactics, which are finding Ohio guys and getting guys who want to play for the name on the front and not the name on the back. That would be a great feeling to (represent) my state.”

Ahrens received his first scholarship offer in April from Stony Brook University. In June he received offers from Saint Louis University and the University of Toledo, and then in July he received offers from Oakland University and Miami University. In addition, much of the Big Ten, including Michigan State, Iowa, Wisconsin and Michigan, have been showing increased interest, according to The Dispatch.

The Versailles junior is rated as a three-star small forward and the fourth best prospect in Ohio for the class of 2018, according to 247sports.com. Scout.com also rates Ahrens as a three-star prospect.

The 6-foot-5 Ahrens helped guide the Versailles boys basketball team to a Midwest Athletic Conference championship last season, recording a team-leading 22.7 points per game as a sophomore. He also led the Tigers with 5.6 rebounds per game and was second on the team with 3.2 assists a game.

He was named third team all-Ohio in Division III by the Associated Press for the 2015-16 season.

Ahrens is the younger brother of Versailles graduate Kyle Ahrens, who is entering his second season at Michigan State University. As a freshman, he played in 26 games for the Spartans and averaged 1.2 points and 0.6 rebounds a game.