Shaw senior basketball player Devan Porter-Wilson admitted he was nervous as he awaited Thursday’s signing ceremony. He said he had tried to not think about the big day, but as the Shaw media center began filling up, he couldn’t put the thoughts of his playing career out of his head.
“I’m just thanking God for this,” Porter-Wilson said.
Porter-Wilson and teammate Patrick Mahone signed their letters of intent Thursday. Porter-Wilson will play basketball at Atlanta Metropolitan, while Mahone is headed to Coastal Alabama Community College in Bay Minette.
“It’s always very gratifying when they get the opportunity to keep playing the sport,” Shaw head coach Terry White said. “It’s really, really tough to get scholarships these days. To see them move on and go on to the next level is really satisfying.”
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Porter-Wilson said he was drawn to Atlanta Metro because of the old-school coaching the program has. Once Porter-Wilson received an offer from the team, it didn’t take long for him to make up his mind.
“One of my workout coaches (Corry Black) told me, ‘Take it and run with it.’ So I did.”
Porter-Wilson played an important role for the Raiders, averaging 12.0 points and 8.6 rebounds his senior season. For his efforts, Porter-Wilson was chosen to the Region 1-4A First Team as well as the All-Bi-City First Team.
“Devan is probably the best passer we’ve ever had,” White said. “I’d say he’s the all-time leader in assists, at least since I’ve been here. He’s got great court vision, and he’s got good character and is a good-chemistry guy.”
Mahone joined the Raiders after not playing his junior year. He battled injuries during the year but appeared in 22 games for the team. He averaged 5.8 points and 6.3 rebounds per game.
The 6-foot-7 Mahone has dreams of playing in the NBA, but for now, he said he’s excited to play collegiately.
“I just feel good to be here,” Mahone said. “I just want to see how far I can go.”
White characterized Mahone as a late bloomer and expects for him to make significant contributions to his new team.
“I told the coach at Coastal Alabama, he probably got better defensively right away adding Patrick,” White said. “He’s a really good rebounder and a really good shot alterer.”
As excited as Porter-Wilson was about his future, he was equally ecstatic about seeing a teammate move on as well.
“I know he deserves it just as much as I do,” Porter-Wilson said. “To see him get to play somewhere else is wonderful. All of us who played here, we deserve it.”
Porter-Wilson thanked those who showed up for the Shaw duo’s signings, making one of their last days at the high school a truly special one.
“It’s wonderful,” Porter-Wilson said. “I’ve had a lot of friends that helped me out since day one.”
Jordan D. Hill: 770-894-9818, @lesports