That fearlessness is part of why Saks’ Addesha Collins signed a scholarship with Tallahassee Community College (Fla.) despite not having visited the school’s campus located in the sunshine state’s capital city.
The Star’s Calhoun County Player of the Year recently inked it up with TCC over interest from nearby Talladega College and Gadsden State Community College.
“Amazing,” said Collins when asked how she felt about the opportunity to continue her basketball career.
Collins averaged 21 points, 3.3 rebounds and two rebounds per game as a senior on her way to eclipsing the 2,000-point plateau for her career. She led the Lady Wildcats to a 22-10 record, winning an Area 10 championship while advancing to the Northeast Regional tournament for the second consecutive season under two-time Star Coach of the Year Michelle Lively.
She was a second-team choice to the Alabama Sports Writers Association’s all-state squad and was chosen The Star’s Fab 5 team, a list of the top players in the paper’s coverage area regardless of classification.
She is set to make her maiden voyage to Tallahassee for a visit this weekend. She’ll head back for a month before returning for good when classes begin this fall.
Former Saks coach Sheroderick Smith, now at Winterboro, coached Collins as a seventh and eighth grader and has seen her develop since then. He used the skills he gained as a former recruiter at Middle Georgia College and tipped TCC coach Teresa Atkinson to Collins’ talents about five weeks ago.
Once Atkinson saw a highlight tape of Collins which showcased not only her scoring ability but also her skills as a defender and playmaker, she wanted to know what it’d take to secure her signature.
“She’s the model student athlete. She’s very coachable. She’s a natural scorer and her game actually has room to grow,” Smith said. “Those were the big selling points on Addesha Collins.”
TCC started its 2011-2012 campaign 7-1 but lost its final 11 games, including all of its games in January and February to finish 11-15.
“She (Atkinson) told me it’s not about the past. It’s about the future,” Collins said. “I’m just looking forward to working hard once I get out there.”
• Tatted up: His team delivered Friday and Saturday, going 4-0 on its way to an AHSAA Class 3A state softball title at Lagoon Park in Montgomery. Now, it’s time for Saks coach Mike Tucker to make good on a promise he made to his team a few years ago.
“Four years ago, when I got to Saks, I promised the girls that girls that if we won the state championship that I’d get a tattoo,” Tucker said.
Tucker said he’s considering three options.
There’s the Wildcat, Saks’ official mascot. There’s also a hawk that flies around one of a hawk that flies around one of the school’s fields. And then there’s the Batman logo, which the softball team somehow has adopted as its own in recent years.
I asked him if the team got to determine the placement of the tattoo, which in my opinion is critical, and the answer was a resounding, ‘No’.
So, don’t expect Tucker to go Gucci Mane and get his face inked up.
“I think it’s going to be, “Finish strong. Saks No. 1.,” he said.
After witnessing the Lady Wildcats’ performance at the state tournament, it’d certainly be fitting.
Nick Birdsong covers prep sports for The Start. He can be reached at 256-235-3575. Follow him on Twitter @birds_word.