By Doug Gorman
Former Jonesboro standout Brandon Hosely has been on a basketball journey the past two years.
It's taken him from the north Georgia mountains to the swamp, and eventually, it will land him in the Sunshine State.
After enjoying a stellar career in high school with the Cardinals, and racking up several accolades, including Clayton News Daily/Henry Daily Herald first-team All Southern Crescent honors, Hosely got overlooked by Divsion I colleges.
So he took a little detour, hooking up with former Clayton State player and assistant coach Corey Baldwin at junior colleges Truett McConnell, and then this past season when Baldwin started the program at Waycross College.
Now, he will spend the next two years at a Division I school after signing with Florida A&M in Tallahassee.
Playing Division I basketball has been Hosely's dream from the first time he donned a basketball uniform or laced up a pair of sneakers.
"This is something that I always wanted," Hosely said.
"If we could win the (MEAC) tournament, and make it to the NCAA tournament, that would be a dream come true."
Baldwin said, Hosely's hard work will allow him to play at the next level.
"He had a great high school career," Baldwin said. "I think he really had something to prove once he got into college.
He was sort of overlooked by a lot of college programs."
Hosely spent one year at Truett-McConnell, but that school was in transition, moving from the junior college ranks to a four-year NAIA college.
When Baldwin was hired to start the program at Waycross, Hosely was a perfect fit to follow his coach for his last year of junior college eligibility, and help start the program.
"Getting him to come to Waycross was huge," Baldwin said. "It helped set the tone for our program."
With Baldwin building the junior college team from the ground up, success wasn't supposed to be measure with wins and loses.
"I didn't really know how many games were were going to win," Baldwin said. "I would have been satisfied with five or six."
When the dust settled on Waycross' first season, the Swam Foxes posted a 17-13 record.
It was something both coach and player would have had trouble thinking about just a few months ago.
"I wasn't sure what to expect," Baldwin said. "Once the season started, I thought we could be pretty good."
Hosely liked the chemistry of the team from the very beginning."
"Everyone got a long," he said.
"Once we started winning games, I thought we were building some special."
Hosely leaves his mark on the first-year program. In his only season with the Swap Foxes, Hosely earned first-team Georgia Junior College Athletic Association honors.
He started all 29 games. scoring in double figures 24 times.
He also showed he could play defense, averaging 4.3 steals per game, good enough for second in the country among junior college players.
Jonesboro head coach Dan Maehlman is excited to see his former player get a chance to suit up for a Division I basketball team.
"He is a great kid, and he comes from a great family," Maehlman said.
"He was always told when he played for us, that he was too slow, or too small to play Division I basketball."
Hosely never listened.
"He is a prime example of how playing at the junior college level can really help a player. So many times, there is a stigma to playing for a junior college team," Maehlman said. There is always that feeling that a player isn't good enough or he has to go to junior college because he is not smart enough. That wasn't the case with Brandon. He is articulate, he just saw it as a chance to prove he was good enough to play at the Division I level."