Friday, April 13, 2012

SPORTS >> Another Red Devil signs with UCA

Leader sports editor

Jacksonville senior Tirrell Brown Jr. inked with the University of Central Arkansas on Wednesday during a special signing ceremony at Jacksonville High School.

Friends and family were joined by nearly the entire student body to celebrate the culmination of Browns’ recent rise to become a Division I basketball prospect.

The 6-foot-6 post jumped onto the radar of some larger schools with his play over the summer, and continued to impress throughout the high-school season.

Brown led the Red Devils in scoring this season and rebounding this season, averaging 16.5 points and 7.2 rebounds per game. Jacksonville spent most of the season ranked No. 1 in class 6A and went undefeated against 6A competition until being upset in the semifinals of the state tournament.

It was in one of Jacksonville’s few losses that Brown showed he was worthy of the Division I attention that ultimately landed him at the Conway-based Southland Conference college. The game was played at Conway High School and UCA coach Corliss Williamson was in attendance. Jacksonville faced Fayetteville in the Conway tournament. Fayetteville was the tallest team in the state last season with three players standing 6-9 or taller.

Jacksonville coach Vic Joyner describes that game.

“They had a 6-9 kid on him and he couldn’t handle him,” Joyner said. “They had to bring down the 6-10 kid to double team him, and T. wore them out. That’s when I knew for sure he had DI ability. Even though he’s only 6-6, we felt like he should’ve been getting some more attention from the SEC schools and teams like that. UCA got a steal.”