Anita Jones and Rebekah Addison both had one option to play college sports, and both grabbed the chance in the form of a pen on Wednesday, signing National Letters of Intent to further athletic and academic careers.
Jones signed with Denmark Technical College to play basketball, while Addison will play softball at Coker College. Both expressed surprise at being able to play college sports.
“They were my only option, but I was really excited because I just wanted to continue playing basketball,” said Jones, who was joined at the ceremony by Denmark Tech coach Javon Gilliard.
Asia Potts, who graduated from Rock Hill last year after a standout basketball career for the Bearcats, also signed with Denmark Tech, and she helped sell Jones on the idea of playing for the school.
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“She came back from school one day to talk to us about how serious college basketball is and she said she liked playing there,” said Jones, who has a 3.5 grade point average. “I’ll also have someone I played with before, so I won’t be too awkward and the new kid.”
Jones said she wants to study pre-med and would like to transfer to College of Charleston or South Carolina after her two years at Denmark Tech. She’ll join her brother Jamel as a college basketball player; he plays for Clinton College.
Addison has a 4.6 GPA (on South Carolina’s 5.0 scale) and received a sizable chunk of academic scholarship money to attend Coker.
“I didn’t expect it at all because I really wasn’t a standout player,” said Addison. “I’m really surprised, but I’m really excited. I always wanted to do it and now that it’s happened, it’s reality.”
Coker’s coaching staff liked her work ethic. They first saw her at their camp last summer and stayed in contact throughout the year. Addison visited the school - with a smaller student body than Rock Hill High - last month.
“I like the small community feeling, and they said your professors really know you,” said Addison, who will play in Coker’s outfield.
Addison’s experience with the Teacher Cadet program confirmed her desire to become a teacher. She’ll major in physical education at Coker, and perhaps one day be the teacher on the other side of the table snapping phone pictures at a signing ceremony.
Bret McCormick • 803-329-4032; Twitter: @BretJust1T