Albemarle's Austin Katstra Transitioning to College Ball at UVA

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Austin Katstra plays in UVA's Blue-White scrimmage Austin Katstra plays in UVA's Blue-White scrimmage

The UVa basketball team tips off the season Friday playing host to UNC-Greensboro.

Albemarle's Austin Katstra is a freshman walk-on with the 'Hoos.   He's part of Virginia's practice squad that Tony Bennett calls the Green Machine.

UVa fans didn't get to see a lot of Katstra last month at Virginia's Blue-White scrimmage because the scrimmage ended early because of an injury to Justice Bartley.

Katstra says he's already loving his first season on grounds, but says the biggest transition is learning coach Bennett's pack line defense.

"That's definitely been the hardest part just the defensive aspect of it, the high end closeout not letting in the paint," says Katstra.  "Just the high school defenses versus the college defense.   It's a big transition anyway but with the pack line it's really big.   I love it it's a lot of fun, I wouldn't trade it.  It's a lot of work but it's so much fun, I love it."

Katstra left Albemarle High School as the school's all-time leading scorer and rebounder.   He says the transition to college ball is significant.

"It's huge, the players are obviously a lot bigger, better, faster," says Katstra.  "Over the summer I acclimated to that and got used to it.  Now I'm used to the transition, it was a pretty smooth transition.  It's a lot of work but so much fun, I love it."