Photo by Derrick Mahone
Drew coach Candice Jackson (left) hugs Lady Titans guard Precious Person after she became the first athletic at the school to sign a scholarship on Wednesday. Person will attend Rutgers on a basketball scholarship.
The girl’s basketball team at Drew has had a lot of first for the third-year school.
Last season, the Lady Titans became the first sports team at the school to win a region championship and place a player on the first-team all-region team.
Wednesday, the first day of the early college signing period, the Lady Titans’ program had the first athlete to sign a college scholarship.
At 11:13 a.m. in the school’s media center, senior Precious Person signed with Big East member Rutgers University, which is coached by Hall of Famer C. Vivian Stringer.
“This is one of many pleasant moments for our basketball program and school,” said Drew coach Candice Jackson, who wiped away tears after a long hug from Person. “We opened the school together, and to see this moment happen is great.”
Drew athletic director and football coach Jarrett Laws vows this will not be the last signing ceremony held at the school.
“This is the first of what will be many,” said Laws, who has several players on his playoff-bound football team with college offers.
“Words can’t described how thankful and blessed I feel right now,” Person said after signing her letter-of-intent. “I couldn’t ask for anything more.”
Last season, the 6-foot-2 guard helped lead the Lady Titans to the Region 4-AAA championship and a state playoff berth.
Person chose Rutgers over Georgia Tech partly because of Stringer.
“It was really amazing when I first met her,” Person said. “She yells and screams at her players, but you she cares about them. I feel she will be a mother figure for me off the court. I think going away to college is best for me.”
She said she will miss her family, especially her younger brother, Jayden Shelby, who is 4.
“I’m going to miss the first time he goes to school, and other things, but that is why we have skype and ooVoo. It is time for me to leave the house.”
Her mother, Kim Shelby, agreed.
“I feel like coach Stringer has a vested interest in my daughter,” Shelby said. “I think she will mold and shape her into a woman. At first I was a little worried, but I’ve had her for 17 years. It is now time to leave the nest.”