Former Highlands star Mason transfers from Drake to Dukes

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Former Highlands High School basketball star Micah Mason will transfer to Duquesne.

Mason, a guard who was the 2011 Post-Gazette high school player of the year and is 12th on the WPIAL's all-time scoring list, played this past season for Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, and had a solid freshman year. He averaged 15.6 minutes, 5.4 points and 2.4 assists per game.

He was Division I's fourth-most accurate 3-point shooter, making 40 of 79 3-point attempts (50.6 percent). He holds the WPIAL record for 3-pointers made (346).

Mason, 6 feet 2, had the benefit of being a somewhat anonymous freshman at Drake, but at Duquesne, a hometown school, more likely will be expected of him because fans are familiar with his high school career.

That means there might be a little more pressure on Mason, who will have three years of eligibility left after he sits out next season, to perform.

He said that is fine with him because it isn't that much different than when he was at Highlands and all eyes in the WPIAL were on him.

"I don't see it as pressure," Mason said. "I know people are going to expect a lot from me and I kind of like that because I expect a lot out of myself as well."

Mason suffers from a condition known as POTS (postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome), which causes an elevated heartbeat and fatigue. He requires a gluten-free diet so his mother, Karen, moved to Des Moines with him in the fall to help him maintain his diet.

"With the health issues I have, the gluten-free diet I need, it just would be much easier for me to be closer to home where I have more family and friends around to help me with it," Mason said. "So I wanted to transfer back closer to home and obviously the location of Duquesne was a huge factor in my decision.

"But I also really like [Dukes coach] Jim Ferry, he seems like an awesome coach and he had a lot of success in his career before he got to Duquesne so I know he is going to build something special and I'm happy I'll be a part of it.

"I also like the way Duquesne plays, they like to go up and down on offense and I'm definitely fine with that, seeing as that's how I played in the WPIAL."

Drake was 15-17 and finished 7-11 in the Missouri Valley Conference this season, but coach Mark Phelps was fired.

Mason, however, said he isn't leaving Drake because he is unhappy.

In fact, he said he enjoyed his freshman season. He just wishes Drake was closer to his home in Harrison.

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Paul Zeise: or Twitter: @paulzeise.


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