Lady Bobcats sign pair from GCA

Hannah Carr (second from left) and Olivia Williams (second from right) signed on to continue their basketball careers with the Lady Bobcats this past Wednesday during a ceremony at Georgia Cumberland Academy in Calhoun. Also on hand were Mark and Kimberly Carr (left), Georgia Northwestern head coach David Stephenson, GCA assistant coach Susan Jenkins and Rick and Debi Williams (right). (Messenger photo/Scott Herpst)

Just a few miles down the road from the Gordon County Campus of Georgia Northwestern sits Georgia Cumberland Academy and it’s the first stop of what head coach David Stephenson hopes will be a long and fruitful 2017 recruiting trail for the Lady Bobcats.

On Wednesday, March 15, the two most recent captains for the Lady Jaguars - seniors Hannah Camp and Olivia Williams - signed their papers to continue their basketball careers at the next level, becoming the first GCA players to join a Georgia Northwestern program.

“We’re really excited to have them both because they are really good students and really good athletes as well,” Stephenson said. “They are the first two of the 13 (recruits) we’re wanting to get. I’ve had a relationship here at GCA for years and I did a clinic here a few years ago when I met them both for the first time. Hannah reached out first me (about coming to GNTC) and when I came back and did my initial talks with her, that’s when I also started talking to Olivia.

“I’m happy to get them both. I think it’s great that they are both getting to go to school and getting to play together and that will benefit them both, especially from a travel perspective.”

Williams, who began playing basketball in the fourth grade, said she has had her heart set on playing college basketball for a long time.

“I’ve always wanted to play in college, so being able to (sign) really means a lot to me,” she said. “I hope to bring sportsmanship and encouragement to the team.”

She said getting to continue to play with her high school teammate and friend was extra special.

“I’ve played with Hannah for four years and we used to compete against each other so it’s going to be great having her there by my side,” Williams added.

For Carr, signing with Georgia Northwestern was also the realization of a dream.

“I’ve been playing basketball for six years now and I was wanting to keep playing,” she explained. “I was looking at several other different college (programs), but I didn’t think I would actually get to play (at any of them), so it’s very exciting to know I’m going to get to continue to play (at Georgia Northwestern).”

Carr said the Lady Bobcats were getting a player that prides herself on working hard.

“If you look at the stats, I may not always be the best scorer on the team,” she added. “But I do give out a lot of assists and I work hard. Olivia and I were captains of our team (this past season) and we tried to keep positive attitudes on the court. I think we did a pretty good job. Plus, I already feel like I’m part of the family with (Olivia), so it’s going to be a lot of fun.”

“Olivia is a scrapper,” Stephenson said. “She loves basketball and she’s just super excited to get to play at the next level. She’s got long arms and we don’t think she’s finished growing yet.

“Hannah is a good ball handler and she’ll bring a lot of tenacity to our program. They’ve both played here forever together, which will be a big help for us.”

“It’s just been a real joy and privilege to have both Olivia and Hannah on our team,” said Lady Jaguars assistant coach Susan Jenkins. “They are both really hard workers and really scrappy players, who are just so passionate about basketball. They love the game and they work hard to improve their skills. They’re just a joy to be around.”

Carr said she wants to become a radiology technician, while Williams is still undecided on a major.

Georgia Cumberland Academy plays in the Southern Christian Athletic Association.