East Clarendon High School seniors Marquis Pearson and Jaquil Wilson signed with Morris College on Monday. Both players will play basketball at Morris, while Pearson will take on two sports by joining the baseball team. Both seniors were thrilled to …
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East Clarendon High School seniors Marquis Pearson and Jaquil Wilson signed with Morris College on Monday. Both players will play basketball at Morris, while Pearson will take on two sports by joining the baseball team. Both seniors were thrilled to have the opportunity to continue their athletic careers in Sumter.
"I'm very excited," said Pearson. "I wanted to be local and that's where my whole family went."
Wilson added, "It means everything to me. I wanted to play basketball since I was little."
East Clarendon boys basketball head coach Seneca Barron has seen Pearson and Wilson grow throughout their careers with the Wolverines and knows they have what it takes to succeed at Morris both on and off the court.
"Those two young men work hard at everything they do," said Barron. "They're not the best athletes, but they work hard at everything they do, including the classroom. They're all-around good students, they're leaders on our campus, and they're the ideal, perfect young gentlemen."
Pearson was a 3-year varsity basketball player, racking up 402 career points, 424 rebounds and 221 blocked shots. He was also a varsity pitcher for two seasons with a record of 2-0 and an earned run average of 2.33 before his high school career was cut short by the coronavirus pandemic this spring. Barron was thrilled to see that Pearson would have a chance to keep playing both basketball and baseball at the next level.
"He's a blessed young man," said Barron. "It couldn't have happened to a better young man just to get the opportunity to play two sports. He's an outstanding pitcher for the baseball program, and he's been above outstanding for our basketball program."
Wilson only played two years of varsity basketball, but made a huge impact for the Wolverines when he hit the court. Wilson scored 359 points in his career, while pulling down 206 rebounds and coming up with 59 steals. Barron has seen Wilson's growth throughout his career and was proud to see the senior get this opportunity.
"I think he only played basketball four total year. I think his ninth-grade year he didn't come out to play," said Barron. "It's definitely a blessing for him and his family, and for me as well to be a part of it, to see him get this opportunity."
While both athletes had a lot of connections to Morris College through family and friends, one of the deciding factors was the chance they had to play together.
"He's right here beside me," said Pearson. "It feels good and makes me feel a little more comfortable."
Wilson added, "It means a lot to me. That's one of the big reasons I wanted to go there, to have someone that I know I'm comfortable with."
Both Wilson and Pearson are excited to see the change in competition as they make the jump to college ball. Wilson said he hopes Morris is a stepping stone to continue a career in basketball but knows the academics are just as important.
"I'm hoping to make it to the next level, but I'm also focusing on academics," said Wilson. "Playing at the next level, that's as exciting as it gets."
"Just going there and working hard," said Pearson on his goals for playing at Morris College. "I'm just excited to see how the competition is."
Barron sees the signings of Pearson and Wilson as the next step for the East Clarendon boys basketball program.
"It's big for our school and our program, as well as individually for these young men," said Barron. "It's going to motivate the guys coming up in our program, so they can see if they work hard and do things the right way, most of all doing the work in the classroom, somebody may give them an opportunity to reach their goals, get a college degree and get to play college ball somewhere."
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