Coming off their best season in school history, the Greyhounds wasted no time picking up their first signee of the spring by inking forward Josh Richardson to an NJCAA Letter of Intent and Scholarship Agreement Friday at a signing ceremony in the Blytheville High School auditorium.
Richardson (6'6", 235 lbs.) earned All-Conference, All-State and All-State Tournament honors this season in leading the Chickasaws to the 5A State Tournament for the first time since 2012.
Averaging nearly 15 points and nine rebounds per game, Richardson led the team in points, rebounds, field goal percentage (48%), three-point percentage (39%), and was second in free throw percentage (78%). He also led Blytheville (17-13) to the historic NEA Tournament Championship in December where he was named to the All-Tournament team, and took All-Tournament honors in the prestigious Rumble on the Ridge Tournament at Forrest City in November.
Perhaps the best quality is Richardson's upside as a late bloomer after being cut from the basketball team as a 5'11" freshman to leading Cross County High School to the 2A State Tournament and earning All-State Tournament honors as a 6'3" junior and finally blossoming into one of the state's best players as a 6'6" senior.
"Just in the last year or so Josh has figured out just how good he can be . . . he can step out and shoot the ball extremely well and led our team in three-point percentage in addition to points, rebounds and blocks, and he was second in free throw percentage," said Blytheville Head Coach McKenzie Pierce. "Offensively he's very solid . . . he can play both inside and out. (ASU Mid-South) is getting a real talent."
Richardson will be counted on to add size and depth as the Greyhounds lose sophomore forwards Ladarius Mason and Chris Smith from ASU Mid-South's first 20-win season and 2016-17 NJCAA Region 2 Championship team.