Junior Arrey isn't ashamed to call himself a "nerd" when it comes to how much he appreciates and understands working with numbers.

A 2016 Gahanna Lincoln graduate, Arrey will graduate from West Virginia Tech this spring with a degree in accounting and already has offers from firms seeking his abilities.

He's skilled enough in another way -- handling a basketball -- that his career path for the next few years could go in myriad directions.

After being named the Player of the Year in the River States Conference this winter and helping West Virginia Tech earn an NAIA Division II tournament berth, the 6-foot point guard could end up playing overseas.

"I have a couple options and I'm blessed to have options," Arrey said. "I've got some opportunities to play overseas, but I also have gotten a lot of job offers for accounting. I was casually going through the senior process and there were some firms that were contacting me (for accounting jobs) and it went from there. I've got to see what all the (basketball) offers are and the same thing with the accounting jobs.

"I'm a numbers guy. I love numbers, talking about accounting terminology, assets, equitability, balance statements, all the terminology in accounting, and accounting is so broad that it's ridiculous."

That the option to play basketball professionally has emerged wasn't necessarily predictable considering where Arrey was as recently as two years ago.

Arrey became a key contributor for Gahanna as a sophomore during the 2013-14 season. He then averaged 8.7 points while making honorable mention all-OCC-Ohio Division and all-district as a junior when Gahanna went 22-4 and was a Division I district runner-up.

Then as a senior, Arrey averaged 10.6 points and made second-team all-league and honorable mention all-district as the Lions lost to Westerville South 68-59 in a regional final to finish 25-3.

He averaged 9.3 points as a freshman at WVU Tech but sustained a season-ending injury two games into the 2017-18 season.

"Junior is probably one of the most driven and focused players that we've had go through Gahanna," Lions coach Tony Staib said. "He had a drive to always improve. That drive and work ethic was evident in his college career. He had (an) injury (in college) and missed some time and then came back and (was) tremendous.

"In high school, Junior was one of the best defenders to come through Gahanna and really had to put in the time and effort on the offensive part of his game, especially shooting the basketball. He could always get to the rim, but he always worked hard on his offensive game and it all came together for him at the college level."

Arrey's given name is Lucas Arrey Jr., after his father who is a chemistry professor at Capital University and grew up playing soccer in Cameroon.

His mother, Regina Arrey, grew up playing volleyball and handball in England. He has two older brothers, 2010 graduate Martin Arrey and 2014 graduate Stephen Arrey, who competed in track and field and volleyball, respectively, for Gahanna.

"Literally everyone calls me 'Junior,' " he said. "My dad was a big-time soccer player and had a chance to play for the international team in Cameroon before he had some injuries. He's a serious guy and has become a powerful educator. I picked up my mom's work ethic and competitiveness."

During the 2018-19 season for WVU Tech, Arrey averaged 11.7 points and helped the program win a game in the NAIA tournament.

He showed his versatility this winter, averaging 16.4 points, 6.0 rebounds, 5.8 assists and 2.1 steals. The Golden Bears were 23-8 heading into their NAIA tournament game against Grace on March 12 before it was canceled because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

WVU Tech is in Beckley, West Virginia.

"There was definitely a culture shock after coming in from the suburbs, but I enjoyed the scenery and the people down there," Arrey said. "After we found out (the NAIA tournament) was canceled, I was devastated. NAIA Division II is no joke. People try to sleep on it, but there's some phenomenal players out there that should be playing at the NCAA level.

"I definitely showed a lot of improvement with my shooting and with my ability to get the ball off and get everyone involved. I like to rebound the ball because I'm an aggressive guard. My overall game elevated and it caught me by surprise, but that's what happens when you put in a lot of work."

julrey@thisweeknews.com

@UlreyThisWeek