MORGANTOWN \u2014 When Antonio Morgano was in high school, he never imagined himself becoming a Rebel basketball player.\r\n\u201cMy AAU coach Scott Long had a contact in Bill Armstrong who was an assistant coach my freshman year,\u201d Morgano said. \u201cPrior to that, I had no communication with Ole Miss or even considered it as an option to play ball or attend school.\u201d\r\nA Morgantown native, Morgano is a 2016 graduate of Morgantown High School.\r\nHe did decide to go south and attend Ole Miss, where he is soon to start his junior year.\r\nMorgano redshirted his freshman season. He did not receive much playing time as a sophomore, appearing in one game.\r\nMorgano is looking forward to this season, especially under new head coach Kermit Davis.\r\n\u201cI am very excited about next season because this isn\u2019t the first time I\u2019ve been in a situation like this,\u201d he said. \u201cI dealt with a coaching change my third year playing high school ball as well.\u201d\r\n\u201cJust like coach (Dave) Tallman came in and whipped us right into shape, coach Davis is doing the same. But instead of going to Eastern Ohio basketball camp where the games are played in a barn, we\u2019re taking an international trip to Canada to play in Montreal and Ottawa in August to see how we stack up against high-quality talent under coach Davis.\u201d\r\nSo far, the Rebels are 2-1 on the Canada tour, beating McGill, 102-61, and Concordia, 84-77, while falling to Carleton, 81-63.\r\nAs a Mohigan, Morgano was a member of the historic 2016 undefeated team that went 27-0 and won the first ever boys AAA state championship in school history.\r\n\u201cIt was the best experience of my life,\u201d he said. \u201cBeing able to be a part of the first undefeated state championship team in Morgantown High history is something I will be proud of my whole life, and I couldn\u2019t have dreamed of going out any other way my senior year with my teammates.\u201d\r\nHe was named an all-state honorable mention by the West Virginia Sportswriters Association.\r\nMorgano said the opportunity to play basketball at a Division I school in the prestigious SEC conference is what made him decide to attend Ole Miss.\r\n\u201cI wanted to be able to play basketball while also enjoying my college experience,\u201d he said. \u201cA big school in the SEC like Ole Miss is the perfect place to do that.\r\n\u201cI love the people in the south and the lifetime bond I will have with the university and the people that are affiliated with it no matter where life takes me.\u201d\r\nMorgano enjoys the traveling involved in playing college basketball, but it\u2019s not always easy because of classes.\r\n\u201cTraveling is a bittersweet aspect of playing college basketball,\u201d he said. \u201cI never thought that one day I would be taking a plane to one of my games on a school night. I wouldn\u2019t trade all the cool places I\u2019ve been and the experiences for anything. \u201cAlthough it is sometimes hard to manage a heavy workload from school traveling often, I find it all worth it in the end.\u201d\r\nTwo of the places he\u2019s enjoyed visiting are Las Vegas and the Virgin Islands.\r\n\u201cMy favorite place we\u2019ve been is definitely the Virgin Islands,\u201d he said. \u201cBest basketball\/vacation trip I\u2019ve ever been on.\r\n\u201cThe MGM Resorts Main Event was awesome. It was my first time in Vegas, and I\u2019m glad I got to spend it with my teammates.\u201d\r\n\r\nMorgano is majoring in political science and hopes to attend law school. For fun, he plays guitar and piano.\r\nHe is the son of Laura and Rob Morgano. He has one brother, Rocco, and two sisters Marianna and Isabella.