Thursday, May 4, 2006
athletes sign with community colleges
By BARRY BURLESON
Northwest Community College Coach Don “Bubba” Skelton appreciates the Holly Springs High School pipeline when it comes to basketball talent.
Last week, Skelton signed two senior Hawks, Antonio Isom and Jemorris Wilks. They will join another former Hawk, Justin Nabors, on next year’s Ranger squad.
“Holly Springs has great tradition,” Skelton said. “They’re used to winning, and that seems to carry over.”
Isom and Wilks were major contributors in the Hawks’ success this past season. Holly High advanced to the Class 3A state championship and finished the season with a 34-2 record.
“They’re great team players,” said head coach Naylond Hayes. “They accepted their roles and made us better.”
The 6’4” Isom averaged five points, seven rebounds and three steals per game.
“His rebounding and his hustle really stand out,” Hayes said. “He’s a good defensive player. Not many people got a good shot off against him.”
The 6’1” Wilks averaged seven points, five steals, five rebounds and two assists per contest.
“He’s a tremendous defensive player,” Hayes said. “He’s very aggressive, and he’s quick.”
The best performance of the season for Isom and Wilks was likely at Tupelo, a big 72-47 victory over the 5A Golden Wave. Wilks poured in 18 points and Isom 16.
Coach Skelton, who will enter his ninth year at Northwest next season, said he is inheriting two “very athletic” players.
“Isom can play two or three positions in our up-tempo game,” Skelton said. “Plus, we rely on defensive pressure, and he fits in real well.
“Wilks will be able to guard the point guard or the off guard for us. He has strength to go with his quickness, and that fits in with what we do.”
But most of all, he likes their unselfish attitude on the court.
“Coach Hayes does a good job of coaching his teams how to play together,” Skelton said. “They’ve built a winner by playing team basketball.”
He said Nabors, a product of back-to-back Holly High state championships in 2004 and 2005, started every game for the Rangers as a freshman.
“He (Nabors) will be really good next year,” Skelton said. “His game is developing as we speak. He’s becoming more of an inside and outside threat. He works hard and he’s a good kid. He will be recruited by a lot of schools next year.”
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