Fans of Georgia Region 6-AAA basketball will definitely want to make plans to attend Georgia Northwestern Bobcats games next season.
Already having signed two talented players from the region out of Catoosa County – LFO’s Tristen Bennett and Ringgold’s Davantae Kimble – head coach David Stephenson traveled a little further south recently to pick up two All-Region first team picks – Coahulla Creek’s Tyler Phillips and Sonoraville big man Bryce Waters.
And last week, he completed his 6-AAA full house by landing another All-Region selection in North Murray’s sweet-shooting lefty, J.T. Langford.
Langford, Phillips and Waters all played travel ball together in the summer with the Storm out of Sonoraville, giving Stephenson a rare dimension with the three incoming players.
“I think it will really be beneficial for us,” the veteran coach said. “They’re friends and they know each other. They have all played against each other during the season and with each other in the summer. We haven’t really had a situation like that before and the unique thing is that they are all dominant in a different spot on the floor.
“J.T. more of a three, Tyler’s more of a four and Bryce is more of a four or five. I could definitely see where all three could be starting for us. Plus, J.T. is left-handed, which is a bonus. He’s quick off his feet and coming out of Coach (Tim) Ellis’ program, we know we’re getting someone that knows the game.”
Langford averaged a team-high 17 points for the Mountaineers this past season to go with eight rebounds a night. He shot 79 percent from the free throw line and a blistering 47 percent from behind the 3-point arc, while leading the team with 78 long-distance attempts.
“The best thing that I can say about J.T. is that he is an absolute warrior and the kind of kid that you want to go to battle with,” Ellis said. “He’s just a hard-working kid that truly has a lot of drive about him. He’s also a high-character kid. You don’t have to worry about him. He always does exactly what he’s supposed to do.”
“It feels good to know I’m going to play college basketball,” said Langford, who was a second team all-area pick by the Dalton Daily Citizen. “It’s always been a dream of mine to go to the next level, so I’m really excited.”
He said Bobcat fans can expect him to give it his all every time he’s on the floor.
“I’m coming from a program where it was really intense,” he explained. “Coach Ellis expects the best out of us and he expects us to hustle and things like that.”
“He’s very explosive off the dribble and people can expect him to shoot the three-ball very well,” Ellis added. “He also led us in scoring and free throws and he really had to do a lot of things for us last year. We had some injuries and that really forced him to have to do some things that he wasn’t expecting to have to do coming into the season. But he took on that role and did a pretty good job with it.”
Langford, who said he plans to major in Business, said he is fine playing any position where he’s needed on the court.
“I’ll be fine wherever they put me on the floor,” he said. “I just want to make an impact as soon as I get there.”