Photo by Brian Paglia / Eagle’s Landing rising senior Eric Wortham committed to Middle Tennessee State on Monday.
Here is a look at some boys players in the Southern Crescent that could emerge as the best in the area:
Chukedubem “Duby” Okeke, Jonesboro: After averaging 14 points, 13 boards and five blocks a game last season, the 6-foot-8 center has added 25 pounds to his frame and a few new post moves to his repertoire. An improved Okeke makes Jonesboro, coming off back-to-back semifinals appearances, even scarier.
Eric Wortham, Eagle’s Landing: Despite a new influx of talent, this is still Wortham’s team to lead. Last season’s Clayton News Daily/Henry Daily Herald Henry County Player of the Year paced the Golden Eagles with 14.8 points, 8.4 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game last year. A scary seizure episode forced him out of the Golden Eagles’ semifinals loss to Columbia and put his future in jeopardy. Back to full health, his return to the court will be the feel-good story of the season.
Jarius Holder, Mt. Zion: Holder was the bright spot from a dismal 4-22 season. The rising senior guard led the Bulldogs in scoring, tallying 22 points and four assists per contest. After losing just three seniors from last season, Holder should help the Bulldogs improve. The 6-foot-6 guard/forward is an offensive threat from inside and outside.
Dre Souder, Henry County: The all-region selection was a major factor in Henry County’s trip to the state quarterfinals, averaging 16 points per game. The 6-foot-6 rising senior will be called upon for leadership this season.
DeAngelo Anthony, Lovejoy: Instead of mourning the seven departed seniors from last season, Anthony’s scoring punch and poised play at guard should give Lovejoy plenty of reasons to expect another run at the state playoffs. The 6-footer was second on the team with 12 points a game last season. Look for that to increase.