“It is unbelievable,” Player said. “I didn’t think it was going to happen. I am still shocked right now. God has blessed me to have this opportunity and I am just going to keep up the hard work.”
Making good impressions are vital and Player can attest to that. After having one of his best games of the season at Winterboro, former TC Central standout Stacey Swain spoke to his former Southern Union Coach Ron Radford about possibly getting him signed.
“I trust Stacey,” Radford said. “Stacey has seen him play. He talked about his ability, his talent, and his upside. Stacey is one of my guys and when one of my guys tells me about a guy, I trust them. I am big on that and they haven’t led me wrong yet. That is just another set of eyes for me. When he went out and saw the kid and said he was good enough. Then I met him and saw his character I was totally sold, because he’s the type of guy that we want to play with.”
Radford said he is elated about signing Player. The 6-foot- 2 wing player will move over to the shooting guard position next season.
“We are real happy to get him,” Radford said. “Like the principal was saying, I like the way he carried himself when he came down. I know he is determined. I know he is focused. I know he wants to be the best basketball player that he can be. I know that he is a good student academically. I think his pluses outweigh his minuses and we are going to help him get to where he wants to be.”
First year head coach Damien Dorsey was proud of what Player has accomplished. Player was one of the first players that Dorsey met when he was hired last August.
“It is a blessing,” TC Central head coach Damien Dorsey said. “I am so proud of Julius. He deserves it. You can’t find a more deserving young man to be in this spot than Julius Player. I am very thankful for Coach Radford to take the opportunity to come here himself to see Julius, because he is taking Julius off former player Coach Stacey Swain’s word. That means a lot to me that he trusts his former player to take Julius. Now Julius has a lot to live up to, because everybody has great things for him and hopes for him. I am just happy that he’s going to get an education first and foremost.”
Anything that Dorsey asked Player to do this season, he did. The first team All-County member averaged 10 points and seven boards per game for the Fighting Tigers.
“He is unselfish,” Dorsey said. “When I talked to him about not starting he took it in stride. He did his best in practice and he even worked harder to show me that he really needed to be a starter. He proved it later on in the season and he did.”
Player said that getting it done in the classroom is still going to be his priority when he goes to Wadley in the fall.
“The same one that it has been here at TC,” Player said. “School comes first and sports come second. I have to keep it balanced and continue my work. It just comes from being raised right by my father. He taught me without schoolwork sports aren’t important. So he said that you have to do that first and continue on the floor.”