ROWLAND — South Robeson’s Jarurias Davis began playing basketball in the fifth grade, and all it took was one shot two year later for him to fall in love with the sport.
“I hit a game-winner in my last game of seventh grade,” Davis said. “I knew ever since then I wanted to play ball.”
Davis on Monday signed his letter of intent to continue his basketball career at Lenoir Community College.
“I’m really proud of him. He’s been a bright spot in our program since I started,” said South Robeson head coach Ryan Bullard, who took the reigns of the team prior to last season. “He was a leader the whole year. I knew from the start he had college potential.”
Davis, who averaged 14 points and a team-high 6.4 assists per game last season as the Mustangs’ starting point guard, made his decision official while his mother, Latoria, looked on along with Bullard and Lenoir head coach Chris Brown.
“I like to play an uptempo pace,” Brown said. “I’ve seen him (Davis) personally a few times this year and had scouts come by to watch him. He can definitely keep the tempo up. He has a strong motor, and that’s what I need from an offensive standpoint and a defensive standpoint.”
Davis’ mentality both on and off court also helped him stand out.
“Jarurias is very persistent, to say the least,” Bullard said. “If he doesn’t succeed, he’s going to keep working. He’s going to try to figure it out. You’re not going to outwork him. He’s going to outwork you.”
Davis takes pride in being able to represent the Mustangs at the next level.
“It means a lot. I don’t think anyone has signed from here in a while,” Davis said. “I have a chance to continue my basketball career and do good.”
Davis is a multi-sport athlete for South Robeson. He played football and basketball for the Mustangs, and is in the midst of his final season on the baseball team, which is also coached by Bullard.
Seeing Davis take advantage of an opportunity to play in college is fulfilling, according to Bullard.
“Any time we can send a guy off to pay at the next level, it reiterates why we’re doing this coaching thing,” Bullard said. “Late hours, no pay. It makes you feel good to see it pay off. I’m proud of him, and I’m thankful for Coach Brown and Lenoir for giving him an opportunity.”
Davis started to make an impact on the varsity level for the Mustangs in his sophomore year, averaging 6.5 points per game as part of an experienced roster that included 12 upperclassmen.
Davis took on a bigger role as a junior, averaging nine points and three assists as the Mustangs struggled with a 4-18 record in their final year under head coach Quincy Johnson.
He said Bullard, who played baseball at Methodist University, was one of the people who helped him realize that a collegiate career was an achievable goal.
“He told me that he felt like I had what it takes to play in college or play at the next level,” Davis said. “I just went with him.”
Reach Brandon Tester at 910-816-1989 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @BrandonTester.