By Gabriel Stovall
JONESBORO, Ga. — Tracy Hector had some options in the works to help keep his dream of playing college basketball alive if he didn’t receive the right college offer.
Gratefully, he won’t need them.
The 6-foot-6 Jonesboro hooper committed to Kennesaw State Friday afternoon, using Twitter to break the news.
— Tracy Hector (@Mixteam_Tracy) June 5, 2015
After that, Hector said he was relieved that he didn’t have to exercise any Plan B-style options to continue his playing career.
“To be honest, if I didn’t choose Kennesaw state, I was probably going to end up re-classing and going to a prep school,” Hector said. “But this is an amazing feeling. A lot of people felt like I couldn’t do it, saying, ‘Oh, he played the post in high school,’ or ‘He needed another year,’ but I feel like I’m ready.”
Indeed Hector was a monster for the Jonesboro Cardinals in the paint over the last two seasons — both resulting in Class AAAA championships for coach Dan Maehlman’s bunch.
Hector averaged 12.6 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.9 assists during the 2014-15 season, helping Jonesboro to a 32-1 overall record and a No. 9 national ranking, according to the MaxPreps Xcellent 25 ratings.
Because of his size, Hector will likely play the three spot with the Owls — a position he’s gotten more accustomed to over the last several months playing with the Stackhouse Elite AAU squad, a team coached by 18-year NBA veteran and former North Carolina Tar Heels star Jerry Stackhouse.
“This summer and with AAU ball, I’ve been working on my jumpshot and my handles,” Hector said. “I’ve played the three with (Stackhouse Elite) so it’s definitely getting me ready for Kennesaw State.”
Among the things Hector is most excited about is the opportunity to play for former National Coach of the Year Award winner Al Skinner. Skinner won that award in 2001 during his fourth season at Boston College. With 247 wins to his credit, Skinner became the all-time winningest coach in Boston College basketball history.
Hector says playing for a coach with that kind of resume is a dream come true.
“Coach Skinner was like a legend at Boston College, and with him and a new coaching staff coming in, it’s not going to be like they’ve already got their team set,” Hector said. “Everybody’s coming in to prove a point and try to start.”
Beyond the coach, the overall fit at Kennesaw State, Hector said, was natural.
“It was just an amazing campus, and everyone was real cool,” he said. “My mom and the coach had a good connection. I love them. It just felt like a family.”
That doesn’t mean Hector is going to dismiss the Jonesboro family that aided in bringing him to this point. He said that his three years there has thoroughly prepared him for the next level.
“For one, Coach Maehlman is crazy,” he said. “So I know I’ll be ready for anything the next coaching staff throws at me. I feel like whatever it is, I’ve seen worse. But Maehlman loves us to death. he helped me become a young man and just helped me a lot getting me ready for this moment.”
Hector is the fourth Jonesboro senior to make his college commitment known since the Cardinals’ most recent state championship.
Check back with thecrescentbuzz.com later for more on Hector’s commitment.