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From showcasing their skills in the South Atlanta gym to closing their prep careers with a state title, four members of the South Atlanta (GA) High basketball program are moving on to the next stage–college basketball.
On May 19, seniors Tyler Thornton, Devonta Pullins, Jada Harrell and Lawrencia Simon all made their decisions public of where they will continue playing basketball, starting in the latter half of 2017.
Thornton, a 6-7 shot-blocking and rebounding machine, signed with Chattahoochee Valley Community College in Alabama and Pullins, who is always ready to pull the trigger from deep, signed with Livingstone College in the great state of North Carolina.
The inside-outside duo of Thornton and Pullins helped the Hornets (29-1) claim the Class AA title this past March with a dominant victory over Swainsboro. Thornton collected 11 points, 14 rebounds, four blocks and four assists in his final game for South Atlanta.
“It was everything I really wanted,” said Pullins, who scored a game-high 20 points in the title game. “It was really good to go out with a bang my senior year with a state championship. Not everybody gets to do that. It was a great championship for all of us. We weren’t expecting to win it like that. We were expecting to win in a close fight. Obviously it wasn’t but we were glad we came out on top.”
Guards Harrell and Simon, who were members of the Lady Hornets squad, decided to continue playing together at Southeastern Illinois College.
Along with Pullins, Harrell and Simon also answered a few questions about yesterday (the recent past) and tomorrow (the rapidly approaching future).
What sealed the deal for you to sign with your new school?
“I wanted to get out of Georgia and experience new things,” Simon said.
“I really wanted to stay close to my family so they can come to my games and support me,” Pullins said. “I didn’t want to go 10 hours away so they can’t come see me.”
What do you plan to improve on the rest of the offseason?
“I have been working on my shot and my confidence,” Harrell said.
“I’m working on my left hand and looking up while I dribble,” Simon said.
“I have to work on my strength and speed,” Pullins said. “I can keep working on my shot even though it already feels good.”
How do you feel about competing with your teammate on the next level?
“We can really push each other to go harder every time,” Simon said. “Even though we got to fight for our spots we can push each other.”
“I think it will be good because we have chemistry already and we can take it to our new team,” Harrell said.
What are your final thoughts on your time here as a basketball player at South Atlanta?
“It was a good experience,” Harrell said. “We could have made it very far but things happen.”
“I don’t have any regrets,” Simon said. “I loved everything that I did and the coaches and how they pushed me and the people that had my back.”