By Jeffery Armstrong
Morrow High School senior basketball player Eric Wilson, a quiet person by nature, said when he gets to college in the fall, he will work at trying to be a more vocal leader.
His mother Lela laughed when she heard that.
"I'll believe that when I see it," she said.
Wilson, who led Morrow in scoring in 2004-05, signed a letter of intent to play college basketball at Tuskegee University in Tuskegee, Ala. this fall and he was serious about being more talkative on the court.
"I want to encourage my teammates at all times and talk a bit more on the court when I get to Tuskegee," Wilson said. "I did it a little bit here at Morrow during my senior year, but I need to do it more in school."
Wilson, who a first-team All-Southern Crescent player this season, said he liked the fact the coaches and players at Tuskegee were amiable with him and showed them around campus and at nearby Auburn University.
He said he could get a great deal of playing time as a freshman.
"[Head] Coach Ondray Wagner told me that I could get much time as a combo guard - a combination of the point guard and the shooting guard," said Wilson, who sports a 3.0 grade point average. "They also play the fast-break style that we played here at Morrow, so I feel I can come right in and contribute to the team."
Morrow head basketball coach Jay Livingston said he was "extremely happy" that Wilson has received a scholarship to play college basketball.
"I saw the amount of hard work Eric put in to get where he is right now. To see it come to fruition like this is very satisfying," Livingston said. "Eric rebounded from playing on the junior varsity his sophomore year to become our leading scorer on the varsity in his senior year. His game spoke volumes when he did not."
Lela said she has mixed emotions about seeing her youngest son go off to school - she's glad but she said she'll definitely miss him.
"He's a good kid and I'm very proud of him," she said.
"I think he'll be able to go to Tuskegee and fit in pretty well down there. As long as he can play basketball, he'll be all right."
Wilson's father Eddie, an assistant coach on the Morrow basketball team, said all the sacrifices Eric and the family made were well worth the effort.
"We missed vacations and he missed parties growing up so Eric could take the time to play on AAU teams and work on his game in the summer and now it's worked out. He's going to Tuskegee, a school rich in tradition," said Eddie, who's coached Eric on an AAU team since he was a pre-teen.
"Everyone treated us well and thanked us for choosing to come to Tuskegee. It was great."
Eddie said he's glad his son is getting a basketball scholarship but he said the most important thing is what should happen in four or five years.
"The bottom line is that he graduate and get that piece of paper," Eddie said.
"I'll be glad to see him play, but graduation day is what I'm really looking forward to seeing."