NAIA Schools Hording Their Share of Tennessee Talent


A boy, a ball and a dream.

I listened to Dick Vitale of ESPN give this inspired speech to a group of rising seniors a few years back at the Nike Camp and it always stayed with me, the message he put out there.

This group was chock full of potential NBA players but his message transcended the D1 scope. The dream is to play college basketball, period.

So many youngsters get hung up on the D1 dream they simply discount or ignore all the other options they have staring themselves in the face.

I preface this story with this information because the world of college basketball has numerous opportunities for players to get scholarships or grants or packages to schools other than D1.

Yes, sports fans DII, NAIA, Junior Colleges have money for scholarships, the DIII ranks don't have athletic scholarships per say, but have packages for solid students to continue their education and play some hoops in a very competitive environment.

Now on to the NAIA, the TransSouth Athletic Conference to be exact. Three new players have made their decisions to attend this burgeoining league and we'd like to say a bit about them.

Over in Nashville, Trevecca Nazarene is one of the winningest programs in the entire NAIA and Coach Sam Harris consistently produces top ranked squads who compete for championships year in and year out.

He didn't have to travel far to snag his newest recruit, Peyton Henry (Franklin). The 6'2 shooting guard will be a nice player in the Trojans system with his higher than average basketball IQ and quick trigger from deep. 

Henry joins Marquis Rudolph (Clarksville Northwest) who signed earlier in the process. 

Down state the Lions of Freed-Hardeman are embarking on a recruiting class for the ages on this level. DeAngelo Williams (Spring Hill), a talented swing man who can defend and score, joins Coach Jason Shelton and the Lions as the fifth member of a dynamic recruiting haul. 

James Haddix (Franklin), Jonathan Milewski (ECS), Kyle Teichmann (Brentwood) and Michael Young (Franklin) are already on board.

Jumping over to Kentucky, Tyler Huston (Pleasant View Christian) takes his game over to Mid-Continent University and Coach Winston Bennett, a former Kentucky Wildcat great. 

Huston was relatively a mystery this season playing in the Christian school division, which is not a part of TSSAA. He has good scoring ability and should be a fine player for Mid-Continent.