5 NAVARRO BASKETBALL PLAYERS SIGN LETTERS
Five members of coach Johnny Estelle’s Region XIV Champion Navarro Bulldogs signed letters of intent to attend four-year colleges and play basketball.
The University of Texas-San Antonio Roadunners signed Region XIV Tournament MVP Hyjii Thomas and redshirt-freshman postman Triton ‘Tank’ Mayberry with two of their available four scholarships. Others Bulldogs signing scholarships included Amos Olatayo (University of Louisiana-Monroe), Deshone McClure (Central Arkansas), and James Thomas (Sam Houston State).
Thomas, a 6-foot-3, 185-pound shooting guard from Booker T. Washington High School of Houston fought through an injury-plagued 2011-12 season, but made major contributions down the stretch when healthy for Navarro. The Third-Team All Zone player was the Region XIV Tournament’s fifth-leading scorer (14.3), and averaged 17.3 points plus totals of 9 rebounds, 5 assists, 4 steals and 4 blocked shots during the final three games. Thomas hit double-figure scoring in 12 regular season games, including five that spanned Christmas break. He had high individual games of 23 against Paris and 20 against Trinity Valley.
The 6-foot-10, 285-pound Mayberry played perhaps his finest during critical minutes at the Region XIV Tournament. His size, length and talent in the low post, all are viewed as necessities for UTSA as it prepares to move the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) next season. Mayberry, a product of Corpus Christi John Paul II High School, trimmed some 65 pounds after arriving at Navarro. He has good hands and footwork, and will work primarily with his back to the basket. Mayberry totaled 10 offensive rebounds in four limited Region XIV Tournament appearances, and chalked up 9 boards against Angelina.
Olatayo, an Alief Elsik product who transferred from SFA, parlayed his complete game into a scholarship opportunity with Keith Richard’s ULM-Warhawks of The Sun Belt Conference. The Region XIV All-Tournament performer earned Third-Team All-Region and Second-Team East Zone honors in 2011-12. The 6-foot-4 guard led Navarro averaged 9.5 points, led Navarro in scoring 10 times, and cracked double digits on 14 occasions. He ranked second in blocked shots, fourth in rebounding and steals, and fifth in assists.
A native of Jacksonville, Ar., McClure, returns within 25 miles of home to play in Conway, Ar., for the University of Central Arkansas Bears and head coach Corliss Williamson in the Southland Conference. McClure was a third-team All-Region XIV and Second-Team All East Zone player who averaged 8.7 points, led the Bulldogs in steals and ranked second in assists.
Another Southland Conference member, Sam Houston State, signed Thomas. Thomas averaged 8.7 points and 7 rebounds per game. The Tarleton State transfer had double-doubles of 19/10 in a 94-89 win over Temple and a 12/13 effort in a 71-60 first-round Region XIV Tournament win over Lon Morris. He totaled 9-plus rebounds in 8 games for Navarro, and ranked fifth in assists and sixth in steals.