CHARLOTTESVILLE, V.A. (WVIR) - Austin Katstra began his basketball career at Virginia as a recruited walk-on wearing the same number he wore in high school, #45.
This year he’s switched to #24. Katstra is a legacy at Virginia. Both his dad and grandad wore the #24 jersey while playing at Virginia.
“Yeah it’s definitely really, special and the main reason I switched over,” says Katstra. “It has real sentimental value to me. Between him and my grand dad it was a no-brainer.”
Katstra made the jersey switch prior to the start of this season, when Marco Anthony, who wore #24 last year transferred.
“It didn’t surprise me because he always told me he would have chosen that number if it were available.” says Austin’s dad, Dirk Katstra. “It wasn’t that big of a surprise, but it is kind of cool that he’s the third one in our family to wear #24.”
Austin has a picture in his dorm room of his grandad wearing the #24 while playing for Virginia at old Memorial Gym.
Austin remembers stories told about his grandfather.
“My dad said after he would finish a game in high school, him and my grandad would always get a pizza and talk about the game,” says Katstra.
Dirk Katstra adds, “My dad was a basketball junkie he would watch any game anywhere any time.and he would have loved watching how Tony plays and watching and watching Austin on the court would have been an added bonus.”
A dream turned into reality in a jersey number passed down from generation to generation.