Tag Archives: SEC Basketball

Duncanville (Texas) High point guard Tyler Watkins making a strong case that he’s worthy of a hoops scholarship

TANTALIZING TYLERA slim, speedy 6-foot-1, 156-pounder, Duncanville High senior point guard Watkins has yet to receive any official offers. However, chances of that changing in the foreseeable future certainly appears likely, considering he’s at least in the discussion amongst the schools that have him under their radar. According to Watkins, Midwestern State, Southern Nazarene, University Of Massachusetts at Lowell, Oklahoma Wesleyan, and Paris Junior College are among the schools that have expressed interest in Watkins, the catalyst of a Duncanville team that is ranked No. 25 in Texas according to Maxpreps.com’s latest poll.

DUNCANVILLE, Texas — Tyler Watkins doesn’t just think he can.

Heck, he’s literally gone from thinking to knowing.

Take, for instance, how late Sunday night, Watkins, a senior point guard for Duncanville (Texas) High, dauntlessly issued a rather bold, spirited declaration when asked what he would like for college scouts and recruiters to know about him, particularly his quest toward garnering an athletic scholarship.

TANTALIZING TYLERA slim, speedy 6-foot-1, 156-pounder, Duncanville High senior point guard Watkins has yet to receive any official offers. However, chances of that changing in the foreseeable future certainly appears likely, considering he’s at least in the discussion amongst the schools that have him under their radar. According to Watkins, Midwestern State, Southern Nazarene, University Of Massachusetts at Lowell, Oklahoma Wesleyan, and Paris Junior College are among the schools that have expressed interest in Watkins, the catalyst of a Duncanville team that is ranked No. 25 in Texas according to Maxpreps.com’s latest poll.

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” Watkins, reciting the familiar Biblical passage of Philippians 4:13, told Making Headline News.

And just like that, the kid whom, for a majority of his young life, has established a keen reputation that suggest, among other things, that he’s capable of defying the toughest of odds, appears destined to stage the unthinkable.

Once again.

A slim, speedy 6-foot-1, 156-pounder who grew up sleeping with his basketball tucked under his arm, Watkins has yet to receive any official scholarship offers. However, chances of that changing in the foreseeable future certainly appears likely, considering he’s at least in the discussion amongst the schools that have him under their radar.

According to Watkins, Midwestern State, Southern Nazarene, University Of Massachusetts at Lowell, Oklahoma Wesleyan, and Paris Junior College are among the schools that have expressed interest in Watkins, the catalyst of a Duncanville team that is ranked No. 25 in Texas according to Maxpreps.com’s latest poll.

“I’d like colleges to know that I am noticeably  hard-working and a humble ball player,” Watkins said. “I am also highly dedicated to playing basketball and becoming a better player.”

Aside from his mental assertiveness and favorable IQ as the Panthers’ floor general, Watkins acknowledged that amongst his notable strengths is his ability to penetrate and attack the rim, not to mention demonstrating the ability to become the floor facilitator.

TEXAS TOUGH — Aside from his mental assertiveness and favorable IG as the Panthers’ floor general, Watkins acknowledged that his amongst his notable strengths is his ability to penetrate and attack the rim and demonstrating the ability to become the floor facilitators.

Conversely, arguably his most notably weakness, in his estimation, is his inconsistency to shoot from long range, although he possesses an attractive midrange shot and has proven to be an aggressive defender.

“I work on (my mechanics) every single day and I lift weights about three times a week,” Watkins said.

Among those who are especially working diligently to help steer Watkins in the right direction, particularly with regards to upgrading his stock in landing a scholarship, are his parents, Leonard and Wendy Watkins.

Both of whom are Corporate America professionals, Tyler Watkins’ parents have demonstrated unyielding support for a kid who first picked up a basketball at the age of four.

That he hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down any time soon, Tyler’s parents, like his teammates and Duncanville’s coaching staff, are hopeful he’s afforded the golden opportunity they sense he deserves — putting his immense skills on display at the collegiate level.

MOM KNOWS BESTThe good news, at least for Tyler Watkins, is that the interest he’s generated in recent months is valid proof that he’s at least being considered for a full ride scholarship. “The sky is the limit for Tyler because never gives up,” Wendy Watkins said. “Tyler goes to the gym seven days a week, and he constantly tells us, ‘No Days Off.’”

“The moment I realized that Tyler may actually have a future in basketball was after several coaches came to me after a tournament handing me their cards saying,  ‘If your son ever needs a team to play for, please call me,’” Leonard Tyler said.

The biggest mystery that remains, particularly at such a crucial stage in their son’s prep basketball career, is at what point will college coaches approach them with that same enthusiasm.

The good news, at least for Tyler Watkins, is that the interest he’s generated in recent months is valid proof that he’s at least being considered for a full ride scholarship.

“The sky is the limit for Tyler because never gives up,” Wendy Watkins said. “Tyler goes to the gym seven days a week, and he constantly tells us, ‘No Days Off.’”

PUTTN’ IN WORK — Aside from his mental assertiveness and favorable IG as the Panthers’ floor general, Watkins acknowledged that his amongst his notable strengths is his ability to penetrate and attack the rim and demonstrating the ability to become the floor facilitators.

Added Leonard Watkins: “Tyler deserves the chance to play on the collegiate level because he is the most hardworking and humble individual I know.”

Not to mention that floor general for an upstart Duncanville team that could stage a dramatic and lengthy postseason run, a trend that, to Tyler Watkins’ credit, would in all likelihood, boost his recruiting stock.

By and large, the good news is he’s still got time to make a favorable impression during what has been a rather compelling scholarship audition.

“The college that offers me will be inheriting both a player and a student dedicated to helping not only myself, but others,” Tyler Watkins said. “I play hard both offensively and defensively.”

That’s because for a kid who boasts lofty aspirations of playing college basketball, he doesn’t just think he can compete with and against the finest players.

Heck, he’s literally gone from thinking to knowing.

 

EDITOR’S NOTE: If you have a child or team that is seeking exposure and would like an in-depth sports news story, call Reporter Andre Johnson at 901-690-6587 or Facebook message him for details under “Andre T. Johnson.”

Andre Johnson is the founder and publisher of Making Headline News. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism and a former sportswriter for the Memphis Commercial Appeal newspaper, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division from Dallas, Texas. To reach Johnson, send an email to memphisgraduate@yahoo.com. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.

 

 

Duncanville (Texas) High shooting guard Dexter Johnson, Jr. under several college radars, hopes to land official offer soon

WHO WILL IT BE? During an interview on Friday with Making Headline News, Duncanville (Texas) High senior shooting guard Dexter Johnson, Jr. and his father, Dexter Johnson, Sr. said that the University of Texas at San Antonio, Murray State, Texas State, East Texas Baptist University, the University of Texas at Arlington, the University of San Francisco, Sam Houston State, and the University of North Texas are amongst the schools that have Johnson, Jr. under their radar, although the 6-foot-3 senior has yet to field an official offers.
Given the immense strides and considerable process he made both on the AAU and prep circuits in recent months, the possibility exist — and is expected to — that could change in Johnson, Jr.’s favor. (Photo by Jim Redman/Maxpreps)

DUNCANVILLE, Texas — As far as college basketball recruiting goes, the assortment of schools that have expressed interest in Duncanville (Texas) High shooting guard Dexter Johnson, Jr. reads much like one similar to that of an NCAA Tournament’s list of mid-major automatic bids.

During an interview on Friday with Making Headline News, Johnson, Jr. and his father, Dexter Johnson, Sr. said that the University of Texas at San Antonio, Murray State, Texas State, East Texas Baptist University, the University of Texas at Arlington, the University of San Francisco, Sam Houston State, and the University of North Texas are amongst the schools that have Johnson, Jr. under their radar, although the 6-foot-3 senior has yet to field any official offers.

A TRUE BALLERA two-year starter for a Duncanville team that is currently 23-7 and ranked No. 25 in Texas by Maxpreps.com, Johnson, Jr.’s amongst the top scorers in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, according to area stats released by The Dallas Morning News.
Through 30 games, Johnson, Jr. (left) is averaging 13.4 points per game, second only to Duncanville’s Miles McDougal (18.9 points per game).

Given the immense strides and considerable process he’s made both on the AAU and prep circuits in recent months, the possibility exist that could very well change in Johnson, Jr.’s favor.

Any day now.

A two-year starter for a Duncanville team that is currently 23-7 and ranked No. 25 in Texas by Maxpreps.com, Johnson, Jr. is amongst the top scorers in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, according to recent area stats released by The Dallas Morning News.

Through 30 games, Johnson, Jr. is averaging 13.4 points per game, second only to Duncanville’s Miles McDougal (18.9 points per game).

Add to the fact that he has proven time and again that he can compete with some of the fiercest talent in the nation — he’s a former teammate of Emanuel Mudiay of the Denver Nuggets, Micah Seaborn of Monmouth University, Baylor’s Terrance Ferguson and Mark Vital, and Kansas signee Billy Preston — and it’s no wonder Johnson, Jr. is being monitored closely by schools that figure to come calling with official offers.

Any day now.

Whichever schools lands a kid whom many recruiting analysts have dubbed amongst the most underrated in Dallas/Fort Worth will undoubtedly inherit a player who possess the poise and maturity to contribute immediately.

“(They are going to get) a diligent, hard-working leader who is going to show up and give maximum effort day in and day out,” Johnson, Jr. said. “I have spent my entire life working toward the opportunity to play the game I love on the college level. College ball will provide me the platform to grow as a leader both on the court and in the classroom. I want to be the positive example for other young ballers, like many college ball players have been for me.”

LONG TIME AT IT — A kid who has first picked up a basketball at just eight months of age and, consequently, began to adopt a deep admiration, coupled with a relatively favorable IQ for the game during his days of playing basketball for Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship Church’s recreational team, the mystery that remains is at what point will one — or several — of these schools suddenly extend a scholarship offer to Johnson, Jr.

A guard whose skills have been likened to that of former Murray State star and current Oklahoma City Thunder reserve guard Cameron Payne, Johnson, Jr. believes he’s deserving of a chance to put his skills on display at the collegiate level, in large part because aside from having blossomed into a prolific scorer who has the ability to create his own shoot, he’s gone to great lengths to fine tune his mechanics in the offseason — most notably his mental toughness, defense, as well as his floor vision.

“It really didn’t surprise me,” said Johnson, Sr., when asked what his immediate reaction when he discovered that his son could actually go a long ways in his chosen sport. “(My biggest expectation is) that he leaves the court satisfied with his efforts.”

WATCH FOOTAGE OF DEXTER, JR. IN ACTION: https://www.youtube.com/shared?ci=HhDIjsCXJS0.

Aside from his solid body of work on the court, Johnson, Sr. acknowledged his son also boasts the smarts and resiliency to master the hustle and bustle that comes with being a student athlete at the collegiate level.

DAD KNOWS BEST — Aside from his solid body of work on the court, Johnson, Sr. acknowledged his son also boasts the smarts and resiliency to master the hustle and bustle that comes with being a student athlete at the collegiate level.
“Academically speaking, Dexter is a great student who works hard in the classroom,” Johnson, Jr. said. “As an athlete, he trains hard to get better.”

“Academically speaking, Dexter is a great student who works hard in the classroom,” Johnson, Jr. said. “As an athlete, he trains hard to get better.”

A kid who first picked up a basketball at just eight months of age and, consequently, began to adopt a deep admiration, coupled with a relatively favorable IQ for the game during his days of playing basketball for Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship Church’s recreational team, the mystery that remains is at what point will one — or several — of these schools suddenly extend a scholarship offer to Johnson, Jr.

By and large, he doesn’t shy away from the notion that he hopes it is much sooner than later.

TEXAS SIZE HOOP DREAMS — A guard whose skills have been likened to that of former Murray State star and current Oklahoma City Thunder reserve guard Cameron Payne, Johnson, Jr. emphasized he believes he deserving of a chance to put his skills on display at the collegiate level, in large part because aside from having being a prolific scorer who has the ability to create his own shoot, he’s gone to great lengths to fine tune his mechanics in the offseason — most notably his mental toughness, defense, as well as his ability to read the floor.

WATCH MORE FOOTAGE OF DEXTER, JR. IN ACTION: http://www.scout.com/player/208036-dexter-johnson/videos.

“I am a true leader and all-around team player,” said Johnson, Jr., continuing to make a plea that he’s worthy of a college basketball scholarship. “I am dedicated, extremely disciplined, and I continue to better my skills every chance that I get.”

Notable attributes about which he’s hopeful the schools that are closely watching him will take into account.

Any day now.

 

EDITOR’S NOTE: If you have a child or team that is seeking exposure and would like an in-depth sports news story, call Reporter Andre Johnson at 901-690-6587 or Facebook message him for details under “Andre T. Johnson.”

Andre Johnson is the founder and publisher of Making Headline News. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism and a former sportswriter for the Memphis Commercial Appeal newspaper, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division from Dallas, Texas. To reach Johnson, send an email to memphisgraduate@yahoo.com. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.

 

Germantown Middle scholar athlete Chris Martin excels on and off the court

 

“It’s my favorite thing to do. Nothing makes me happier than putting the ball through the hoop.” — Memphis-area Middle School hoops phenom Chris Martin

 

ONLY BY GOD’S GRACE — A speedy, slim combo guard who’s armed with much promise as a rising youth basketball standout in this hoops-crazed Bluff City area, Germantown Middle School combo guard Christopher Martin, like his older brother, is blessed of the fact that God has strategically spared his mother life, in part so she could witness firsthand his immense strides on and off the court. 

MEMPHIS — In case you don’t know Christopher Martin, allow him to introduce himself.

For starters, Martin (widely known as Chris Martin) is a native Memphian who has emerged as a rather crafty, skillful basketball player, most notably on the amateur circuit.

 

MOTHERLY LOVE — Not only has Martin flourished academically, which has given way to his assuming his rightful place as part of Germantown Middle’s Optional STEM Program, but his keen leadership as the Red Devils’ floor general has inspired his teammates and coaches to name him team captain, something by which his mother finds intriguing and downright gratifying, in large part because, well, her Creator has blessed her to stick around to witness it all unfold.

 

A scholar athlete who has become a fixture both on and off the court in recent years, Martin is the catalyst of Germantown Middle School’s basketball team and, given his notable track record as an amateur athlete, it’s safe to assume his biggest and brightest days are well ahead of him.

Moreover, as a speedy, slim combo guard who’s armed with much promise as a rising youth basketball standout in this hoops-crazed Shelby-Metro area, Martin, like his older brother, is blessed of the fact that God has strategically spared his mother’s life, in large part so she could witness firsthand his immense strides on and off the court.

“I love my mom very much,” said Martin, counting his blessings yet again, a trend by which he’s guilty of exemplifying daily. “She has risked days to go to games and has been basically involved in everything I do. Win or lose, she’s always proud of me, as long as I do my best.”

STAY TUNED. MEMPHISIt is, by all accounts, because of Martin’s constant progress, coupled with his team-first concept that have benefited him mightily as a young student athlete who boasts lofty aspirations of playing at the prep and collegiate levels in the coming years.

It is, by all accounts, because of Martin’s constant progress, coupled with his team-first concept that have benefited him mightily as a young student athlete who boasts lofty aspirations of playing at the prep and collegiate levels in the coming years.

CHRIS’ HOOPS PAGE: http://www.cmballin.com

Not only has he flourished academically, which has given way to his assuming his rightful place as part of Germantown Middle’s Optional STEM Program, but his keen leadership as the Red Devils’ floor general has inspired his teammates and coaches to name him team captain, something by which his mother finds intriguing and downright gratifying, in large part because, well, her Creator has blessed her to stick around to witness it all unfold.

AWWWWWW — “My heart is overjoyed when I see how grateful, loving, and humble he remains,” Lamberth said of her son’s assortment of accolades. “His leadership skills are outstanding and his teammates look up to him and respect him. He does more than just play ball.”

“My heart is overjoyed when I see how grateful, loving, and humble he remains,” Lamberth said of her son’s assortment of accolades. “His leadership skills are outstanding and his teammates look up to him and respect him. He does more than just play ball.”

And, within the next year or so, some local high school-area coach undoubtedly will be fortunate to install Martin — a rather big guard who can create his own shot and certainly has much more growing to do —– to his roster.

Which, after all, means one thing: this hoops-crazed city hasn’t heard the last of him.

“I’m going to keep making good grades and (hopefully) get that Division 1 (scholarship), so one day I can pay (my mother) back for everything she’s done for me to help make my dreams come true,” said Martin, counting his blessings once again.

All while his mother continues to live to see it all unfold.

Just as God intended it to be.

 

 



EDITOR’S NOTE: If you have a child or team that is seeking exposure and would like an in-depth sports news story, call Reporter Andre Johnson at 901-690-6587 or Facebook message him for details under “Andre T. Johnson.”

Andre Johnson is the founder and publisher of Making Headline News. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division from Dallas, Texas. To reach Johnson, send an email to memphisgraduate@yahoo.com. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.

South Gibson County guard Ladarian McCurrie expected to graduate with honors, now auditioning for an elusive athletic scholarship

xMEDINA, Tenn. — One thing about Ladarian McCurrie is that no one has to remind him of his role as a member of the South Gibson County High basketball team.

For McCurrie, his role for the Hornets of Medina, Tennessee is one about which he takes seriously and with great pride and dignity, considering coach Eric Hampton and his staff mostly look to him as being the floor general, or sorts.

“My role as the point guard is to drive the ball to the goal where I can either take the shot or pass it to either of the other shooting guards,” McCurrie told Making Headline News earlier this week. I am a team player, so I mostly pass the ball to the open guard to generate the three.”

STAGE PLAY --- In what undoubtedly is a pivotal stretch in his final prep season for South Gibson County High, amongst the things about which senior guard Ladarian McCurrie is aiming is doing the necessary things that will ultimately give way to his being afforded the golden opportunity of playing basketball at the collegiate level. While he has yet to field any official scholarships offers, it is a foregone conclusion the future for McCurrie looks extremely favorable, in large part because with a cumulative grade point average of 3.8, he is on pace to graduate in the top five percent of his class.
HUGE STAGE PLAYIn what undoubtedly is a pivotal stretch in his final prep season for South Gibson County High, amongst the things about which senior guard Ladarian McCurrie is aiming is doing the necessary things that will ultimately give way to his being afforded the golden opportunity of playing basketball at the collegiate level. While he has yet to field any official scholarships offers, it is a foregone conclusion the future for McCurrie looks extremely favorable, in large part because with a cumulative grade point average of 3.8, he is on pace to graduate in the top five percent of his class.

To his credit, McCurrie, a 17-year-old senior for a South Gibson team that played at arch rival Bolivar Central Friday night, his primary responsibilities have been that primarily of a combo guard, meaning this slim, speedy 5-foot-9, 150-pounder is expected, by all accounts, to display significant roles both as a scorer and floor facilitator.

Most importantly, in what undoubtedly is a pivotal stretch in his final prep season, amongst the things about which McCurrie is aiming is doing the necessary things that will ultimately give way to his being afforded the golden opportunity of playing basketball at the collegiate level.

MR. DO-IT-ALL --- One thing about Ladarian McCurrie is that no one has to remind him of his role as a member of the South Gibson County High basketball team. For McCurrie, his role for the Hornets of Medina, Tennessee is one about which he takes seriously and with great pride and dignity, considering coach Eric Hampton and his staff mostly look to him as being the floor general, or sorts.
MR. DO-IT-ALLOne thing about Ladarian McCurrie is that no one has to remind him of his role as a member of the South Gibson County High basketball team. For McCurrie, his role for the Hornets of Medina, Tennessee is one about which he takes seriously and with great pride and dignity, considering coach Eric Hampton and his staff mostly look to him as being the floor general, or sorts.

While he has yet to field any official scholarships offers, it is a foregone conclusion the future for McCurrie looks extremely favorable, in large part because with a cumulative grade point average of 3.8, he is on pace to graduate in the top five percent of his class.

In essence, what that means essentially is that even if he finishes the academic year without signing a National Letter of Intent, the possibility exists that not only will McCurrie almost certainly be offered an academic scholarship, but he will likely be afforded the chance to join a college hoops program as walk-on.

Either way, a free education appears inevitable at this point for a kid who boasts lofty aspirations of putting his athletic skills on display.

“They will be inheriting a competitor, an encourager, and a player that is driven by ambition,” said McCurrie, when asked what type of player would college coaches inherit if he’s granted his long-awaited opportunity.

CHEERING HIM ON --- Either way, a free education appears inevitable at this point for a kid who boasts lofty aspirations of putting his athletics skills on display. “They will be inheriting a competitor, an encourager, and a player that is driven by ambition,” said McCurrie, when asked what type of player would college coaches inherit if he’s granted his long-awaited opportunity.
CHEERING HIM ONEither way, a free education appears inevitable at this point for a kid who boasts lofty aspirations of putting his athletics skills on display.
“They will be inheriting a competitor, an encourager, and a player that is driven by ambition,” said McCurrie, when asked what type of player would college coaches inherit if he’s granted his long-awaited opportunity.

As McCurrie tells it, while playing major prep basketball in a relatively small town reduced his ability to acquire the proper exposure, he strongly believes he boasts the skills, mechanics, and assertiveness to handle the hustle and bustle that college athletics create.

“Sometimes, newspaper articles do not capture the whole story,” McCurrie said. “Oftentimes, the newspaper does not detail that I contribute nearly seven rebounds, five steals, and nearly 10-to-15 assists a game, or how I give my teammates confidence while I’m on the court or on the bench.”

vbAll of which explains why McCurrie is destined to possess what he describes as a fair chance, one that would enable him to appropriately audition for a college hoops scholarship.

“Playing college ball is a dream for me because I am coachable,” McCurrie said. “I am willing to take risks. I am willing to put in the time, effort, and work to prove that I am ready to compete on the collegiate level. I am realistic about my ability and skills, and I know that there is plenty of work for me do, because growth on or off the court is a continuous process. But I am hopeful, prayerful, and faithful. I’m just looking for the opportunity to help a team.”

Something about which he’s done time and again throughout his notable high school career.



awseeEDITOR’S NOTE: If you have a child or team that is seeking exposure and would like to share your story with an in-depth news feature, call Reporter Andre Johnson at 901-690-6587 or Facebook message him under “Andre T. Johnson” for details.

Andre Johnson is founder and publisher for Making Headline News. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division from Dallas, Texas. To reach Johnson, send email to memphisgraduate@yahoo.com. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.