Troutman transfers out of UCA

Basketball standout heads to private school for senior season

BURLINGTON — One of the most highly recruited boys’ basketball players in Randolph County in the upcoming senior class will no longer will be playing for a school in the county.

Ashton Troutman is transferring from Uwharrie Charter Academy to The Burlington School.

He said he’s looking for more exposure and a higher level of competition.

“Just being in a basketball environment and for a good team,” Troutman said. “I would have never flirted with the idea of leaving if it wasn’t for basketball.”

Troutman, a 6-foot-7½, 205-pound post player, was the centerpiece of the Eagles’ Piedmont Athletic Conference Tournament championship last winter.

For weeks, Troutman has been the recipient of constant praise based on his performances on the summer travel circuit with Raleigh-based Garner Road Basketball Club. He has been lauded for his toughness around the basket and the ability to play through contact.

Despite coming back from a broken fibula that caused him to miss a couple of months since the high school season, Troutman’s stock grew this summer.

“July was huge for him,” said George Marshall, the new coach and athletics director at The Burlington School (previously named The Elon School), which is a private school with a growing basketball reputation. “It’s really a credit to his grit and toughness. He’s in a place where his confidence is sky high.”

Troutman, 18, will commute from his Asheboro home to Burlington. He said he felt some pressure last summer to transfer, considering Greensboro Day School as several private schools reached out to him. But he said he wanted another go-around with UCA, which is a Class 1-A school, as it entered a new conference. 

Now, he’s taking a different approach for his last high school season. He said he expects more challenging academic requirements, but that will be worth it.

“Coach Marshall and a couple of other guys hit me up,” he said. “They’re going to put me in situations to be seen by (more colleges).”

The Burlington School, a member of the North Carolina Independent Schools Athletic Association, is a four-time state champion in boys’ basketball. The Spartans are the reigning Class 2-A state champions in that organization after securing back-to-back titles. In the regular season, recent teams have played in several high-profile events, though the Spartans are now an independent and no longer in a conference.

Marshall said Troutman should fit in well. NCAA Division I and Division II teams have been in contact with Troutman in recruiting. The player said he has yet to receive scholarship offers.

“He has played really competitive basketball throughout the course of his career,” said Marshall, who spent the previous five seasons at Henderson Collegiate. “We are really excited to have him as a student and a player.”

Troutman’s 20.9 points and 10 rebounds per game as a junior came after as a sophomore – in the pandemic-abbreviated season – he led the Eagles with 16.5 points and 8.6 rebounds per game while shooting 68 percent from the field. He held a team-best 8.9 points per game on 56 percent shooting from the field and 4.8 rebounds per outing as a freshman.

With Troutman, the Eagles’ record went from 10-13 as a freshman to 10-4 as a sophomore and 19-7 last season.

Prior to last season, UCA lost guard Zane Caudle as a transfer to Providence Grove, which won the PAC regular-season title. Caudle was named the PAC Player of the Year.

By Bob Sutton