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April 15, 2014
Green Run's Blount Selects JUCO
Green Run Class of 2014 guard Tyler Blount enjoyed a decorated career with the Stallions, who went 58-20 the last three years with him starting on varsity and won the Conference 9 Tournament this past season on their way to reaching the 5A-South Region Tournament semifinals.
Blount now embarks on the next chapter of his basketball career, opting to play for Coach James Miller at New Mexico Junior College. Others he considered included Wallace State Community College in Alabama, Louisburg Junior College in North Carolina, Division II Mount Olive (NC) and nearby Division III Virginia Wesleyan.
"His dream and goal ever since he was a freshman was to be a Division I player. I believe he's going to keep grinding away to try to get there, and the school he is going to will be a perfect situation for him," declared Green Run Head Basketball Coach Kenneth Harris. "Coach Miller really built a rapport with him that I felt was excellent. It's a basketball program and his résumé speaks for itself."
Blount becomes the sixth player from Virginia for the Thunderbirds, who finished 27-7 overall this past season. Recently, the Thunderbirds inked Potomac standout Randy Haynes, who was the VHSCA co-State Player of the Year in Group 5A.
A pipeline has clearly been developed in Virginia for New Mexico JC. Previously, they've been able to land the likes of former Booker T. Washington standouts Desmond Lee (NC State) and Lorelle 'Smoke' Waters, Norcom product Devin Patterson (Nebraska-Omaha), and ex-Norview guard Rashaun Madison.
Measuring in at about 5-foot-11, Blount overcame not being one of the biggest guards around by sinking a bunch of perimeter jump shots for the Stallions. He set school records for three-pointers made in a career (236), season (88) and game (9).
"There's no doubt they're getting a hard working, determined, great kid who's very coachable and constantly trying to get basketball at the game of basketball. To me, he was one of the best shooters in the state, so they're definitely getting someone that can do damage in that regard," added Harris.
"I also think they're getting a kid that can continue to develop as an all-around guard and eventually a point guard. He might not be ready and a finished product just yet, but in the four years we've had him he's made strides both handling the basketball and defensively."
Blount's senior season was nothing short of superb. He averaged 19 points per game and earned Conference 9 Player of the Year honors as well as First Team All-State by the VHSL and VHSCA. Behind his shot-making and leadership, the Stallions finished 22-5 overall, notching their first 20-win campaign since 1995, and advanced in the regional playoffs for the first time in ten years.
"Tyler was committed to our program from day one and trusted our coaching staff. I really have to commend him for his loyalty, work ethic and being a team player first and foremost," commented Harris.
"Furthermore, he wanted to be a leader, not a follower. When the next season starts up, I'm really going to miss him because what he did for us here at Green Run the last four years can't be replicated. He's one of the Top 5 players I've coached for sure and arguably one of the Top 5 in Green Run history."
Matthew Hatfield serves as State Basketball Analyst for VirginiaPreps.com, part of the Rivals.com Network. Check out Hatfield's Twitter page for more sports related updates, and you can also read his work in the Suffolk News Herald. To contact Matthew, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, and don't forget to listen to him every Saturday at 10AM on ESPN Radio 94.1, plus watch him on the Cox 11 Sports Report.
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