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Lovejoy grad Mitchell transferring to Paris Junior College

South Georgia Tech photo
Morris Mitchell (left) drives against a Coastal Georgia defender. The former Lovejoy standout, who changed from jersey No. 33 to No. 4 after a manager's laundry accident, is transferring from South Georgia Tech to Paris Junior College.

South Georgia Tech photo Morris Mitchell (left) drives against a Coastal Georgia defender. The former Lovejoy standout, who changed from jersey No. 33 to No. 4 after a manager's laundry accident, is transferring from South Georgia Tech to Paris Junior College.

By Darryl Maxie

dmaxie@news-daily.com

Former Lovejoy High basketball standout Morris Mitchell intends to transfer to Paris Junior College in Texas after learning that his first junior college isn't accredited.

He signed with South Georgia Tech in Americus after graduating Lovejoy in 2010, and began pursuing a degree in business. But a disturbing revelation from coaches who were recruiting him -- that his course work at SGTC wouldn't transfer to other schools -- prompted him to leave.

"If I'd known that it was unaccredited, I never would've signed with South Georgia Tech," Mitchell said Thursday.

South Georgia Tech is not accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Paris Junior College is, and has been since 1934.

Mitchell wasn't the only one who found out the hard way. Jae Crowder, a former Villa Rica High star who now plays at Marquette, learned the same thing in 2009 and left SGTC for Howard College. Crowder led Howard to a national junior college championship in 2010, then transferred to Marquette, where he played in the NCAA Tournament in March.

Mitchell, a 6-foot-5 forward who averaged 11.5 points a game at South Georgia Tech, would love to have a similar outcome. But he'll have to sit out the upcoming season, retaking 24 hours of coursework for which he thought he'd already earned credit.

"Paris is one of the top junior colleges in the country," Mitchell said. "They're always competing in the national tournament, always graduating their players and their players pass their classes."