HALL OF FAME
BOYS' BAKSETBALL: TigersÃ¢?? Schooling signs with Illinois juco
May 19, 2014Bardstown High School
Tuesday, May 13, 2014 at 10:39 pm
Just moments after signing his name to paperwork to play basketball at Illinois Central College in East Peoria, Bardstown basketball star Seivon Schooling slowly stood up from his chair, his 6-6 frame gradually coming into full view of the hundreds of classmates who had gathered in the school auditorium to witness the occasion.
The 5th Region Co-Player of the Year waved his arms while asking his teammates to come to the stage.
Holding up a gold jersey with the number 21 and a blue jersey with the number 12, he asked for a show of hands from the regional championship team to select his number to wear at the next level.
When they chose number 21, Schooling told them that their wish would be granted.
That closeness with his friends was just one of the many reasons that Cougar coach Tony Wysinger wanted the Tiger standout to join his junior college team.
“I can tell from the way you are here supporting him that he is a good person,” the coach said to the assembled.
But Wysinger — a standout player at the University of Illinois in the 1980s whose ICC teams have won regional championships four of the past five years and advanced to the nationals — said he expects Schooling to make an impact as a basketball player as well.”
“At the junior college level, we need kids who are ready to play now and not have to wait a year or so to see how they develop,” Wysinger said. “When he worked out for us, I told my coaches that this kid can do post moves and finish around the basket.”
It turns out that Jim Youngman, the Thomas Nelson coach, is a good friend of Wysinger.
“In my 15 years of coaching, we have not recruited Kentucky although one of the colleges in our conference has had several kids from the Louisville area. Jim told me that this area was untapped, no one has been working this area.”
Schooling said that the school is a good fit for him.
“It’s like Bardstown; it’s a big family, and I feel like I clicked with the players and the coaches,” Schooling said. “They play a lot like Bardstown. They play hard the whole game.”
Schooling gives credit to Bardstown mentor and coach James “Boo” Brewer for his success.
“Coach Brewer is like a dad to me,” he said. “He’s been so good to me. He’s taught me a lot. He would come to my house and spend time with me.”
Brewer was beaming with pride when asked about the progress Schooling has made as a person and as a player.
“He’s worked hard for me the past four years, and when you work hard in the classroom and on the floor, this is what happens,” Brewer said. “He’s really grown as a person.
“Now he’s moving on to bigger and better things by going on to play in college,” Brewer added. “I am just very glad that I got to coach him.”
Schooling, who averaged 14 points and 11 rebounds for a team that made it to the Sweet Sixteen quarterfinals, says that he wants to get a degree in special education and come back home to teach and to coach.
“Since my freshman year, I have worked with special ed kids, and I love it,” Schooling said. “They are great kids, they are funny, but it is a challenge. I love a challenge.”