Central Baptist College Signs Two Greyhounds

Central Baptist College Signs Two Greyhounds

Mid-South Community College student-athletes Justin Harris and Tony White have signed letters of intent to take their game and their education to the next level at Central Baptist College in Conway.

The young men, who played key roles in the Greyhounds' winningest season in MSCC history, accepted scholarships on Wednesday, May 6.

"Because of my experience here, I am looking forward to my future at CBC and am ready to take on the next challenge," said White, who missed the formal ceremony to attend a first-day training session at his summer workplace. "I chose CBC because of the team atmosphere, and the feeling from Coach (Wes) Sullivan that he really wanted me on his team meant a lot."

"I'm excited about going to Central Baptist College to get buckets and my degree," Harris said. "I feel like I have a good 'home' to go to. Coach Sullivan has been recruiting me hard, and I feel this is the right place for me."

Sullivan, who just completed his second year at the Mustangs' helm, said Central Baptist is fortunate to land the Greyhound tandem.

"We expect a lot out of both of these guys," said Sullivan, who drove from Conway to witness the signing. "In our style of play, we press a lot and play 94 feet for 40 minutes. Tony and Justin are both high-motor guys that are very athletic, and we think they are going to be great fits for our program.

"We are always excited to sign guys from here because Coach Parker does such a good job with them. When we sign a kid from here, we get to skip a few steps because they're so well prepared. They are good kids who understand the importance of going to class and doing things the right way. We're excited about signing guys who 'get it' off the court as well."

Sullivan cited Harris' "play above the rim" ability and White's "pass-first" mentality and defensive strength as reasons he recruited the young men.

Parker praised both of the signees for their efforts to excel on the court and in the classroom.

"I want to thank these guys for their contributions to our program," Parker said. "I really appreciate the work that they've done. I'm so happy to see their hard work pay off. For them to come here, be willing to listen to us, and to have a chance to graduate and move on with a scholarship at a four-year institution is what our program is all about."

Parker said he expects Harris and White to be major contributors at the next level.

"I'm still not sure that Justin understands exactly how good he can be. I've spent two years trying to convince him. He has great athleticism and is the complete package. He's a very good student in the classroom, and he's been a no-maintenance player for us for two years. We always knew what he was going to give us every day in practice; we never had to wonder.   

"One of the things I'm most proud of with Tony is the way he responded when he went down in the first game of February his freshman year with a torn ACL. He had to go through rehab and work hard to be ready for his sophomore season. He did everything that was asked of him, and he even came back a little earlier than we anticipated. Tony really competed and did a fantastic job for us."

Both players said their time at Mid-South was well spent.

"MSCC has helped me grow as a person and a player," White said. "I had a lot of fun being a Greyhound and breaking records both years I was here, and I'm going to miss it."

"My two years at MSCC meant a lot to me," Harris said. "I learned a lot. I got a lot better as a player, and everybody around me just helped me get to this point."   

Harris, a product of Nettleton High School in Jonesboro, earned NJCAA Second Team All-Region 2 honors in 2014-15. He averaged 9.0 points and 5.0 rebounds while shooting 51% from the field. Harris played 22 games and started 19 for the Greyhounds.

White played in all 27 of the Greyhounds' games and started 24 of them. He led the team in minutes played and steals. White shot 44.8% from the floor while averaging 7.9 points per game, and he grabbed 3.5 rebounds and dished out nearly 3 assists per game.

The Greyhound duo will join a CBC team that finished 11-16 overall and 5-9 in Midlands Collegiate Athletic Conference (NAIA Division II) play. CBC is  moving to NAIA Division I next year and will compete in the American Midwest Conference with fellow Arkansas members Williams Baptist College and Lyon College.

May signing ceremony

Greyhound Head Coach Chris Parker addresses the crowd at the signing ceremony for Justin Harris (seated right) and Marquavious Smith (seated left) while MSCC President Dr. Glen Fenter looks on from the background.