If Chris Parker finds a player he has to run out of his gymnasium at Mid-South Community College, he’s a player probably worth landing.
He found that in Watson Chapel senior Tevin Brown, and on Thursday, the second day of the spring signing period, the 5A-South Player of the Year inked his letter of intent with the upstart junior college program out of West Memphis.
“Tevin’s the type of kid that every day, 24-7, he wants to be in the gym,” Watson Chapel coach Matt Busch said. “I’ve never coached a kid like him.”
Brown was the first of two Watson Chapel athletes to sign with a school Thursday. Kierra Cox committed to Arkansas Baptist College, becoming the third Lady Wildcat in two years to join Dion Cross’ team.
Lady Wildcats coach Leslie Henderson hopes it’s just the start of a pipeline from her program to Little Rock.
“Anytime they can go anywhere to further their education, that’s a plus,” Henderson said. “But just the fact they can go with coach Cross, who has a great reputation, that’s even better and close to home, too.”
Parker, whose Mid-South program completed just its fourth season, has built a solid pipeline from Southeast Arkansas in the past three years. He landed T.J. Handley and Rodney Ollison from Watson Chapel in 2012 and since recruited Damar Reed of Star City and Davone Chapman of Dollarway to the Greyhounds.
Handley and Ollison helped the Greyhounds to their first NJCAA Region II championship and first winning record at 14-12 this past season. Mid-South lost the district title game to St. Louis Community College, missing out on a national tournament berth.
“The way the program is run,” Brown said, is what sold him on the Greyhounds. “And I like where it’s headed.”
For his efforts, Handley has committed to Arkansas-Pine Bluff, according to Parker. UAPB has not confirmed that signing.
But Parker found another ball-handler in Brown, who averaged 8 points and 8 assists per game as a senior.
“I think Tevin is the type of kid who’s going to have a lot of success in our program,” Parker said. “He works hard, he’s a fantastic person and he’s what you want in a point guard. He’s a pass-first type of guy who gets everybody involved, and most importantly, he’s the type of guy you have to run out of the gym. He loves the game.”
Cox, like Brown, is a small guard, a position Cross loves to coach at Arkansas Baptist. She gave the Lady Wildcats much-needed experience at that position and averaged 10 points, 4 steals and 3 rebounds per game as a senior.
“I love small guards,” Cross said. “They’re tough. They’re gritty. They’re defensive-minded. Kierra’s quickness, her athleticism, her ability to run a team is definitely what brought me to her. I’m definitely glad to get her.”
Arkansas Baptist, which finished 14-17 this season, landed Chelsea Payne and Jasmine Bell from Watson Chapel last year. Their presence at ABC drew Cox to the school.
Henderson said she’ll miss “everything” about Cox, including her leadership. But Cox knows what she learned from Henderson that she’ll take to Little Rock.
“Just to be a role model, take control on the court and do what I do best,” Cox said.