Williams, Thomas ink with universities

Williams, Thomas ink with universities

GOODMAN --- Holmes Community College sophomore guards Jarvis Williams and Torlorf Thomas signed national letters of intent today.

Williams of Jackson signed with the Newman University Jets out of Wichita, Kansas, while Thomas of Meridian signed with the Alabama State University Hornets out of Montgomery, Ala.

Jarvis Williams

Newman, a NCAA Division II member, finished the 2014-15 season with a record of 15-11 and 11-9 in the Heartland Conference.

Williams, a graduate of Callaway High School, helped lead Holmes to the NJCAA National Tournament, where the Bulldogs finished in the Elite Eight. Holmes was also the North Division and Region XXIII Champions. Williams led the Bulldogs in three-point shooting with a 38.3 percent average from behind the arc. He averaged 7.1 points per game and shot 41 percent from the floor. He had 2.9 assists per game and one steal per game.

As a freshman, Williams averaged 8.3 points per game and led the Bulldogs in three-point accuracy shooting 38.5 percent. He shot 41.9 percent from the floor and had 1.9 assists and .5 steals per game.

Williams said his decision came down to Newman and Jackson State. "Choosing between them was a very hard decision, but my whole family wanted me to get out of the state and experience life and meet new people so I couldn't go against my family," Williams said. "I felt like home when I went on the visit."

Newman runs the floor well, and Williams said this is his style of play. "They get up and down the floor," Williams said. "I love to run and that's all I can do is get up and down."  He said being a "great defender is the best part of my game. I love getting under someone's skin and making them mad about me being so small. When I get there I want to get stronger and help those guys accomplish some things they may not think they'll accomplish."

Williams said he made a great decision playing for Holmes. "They taught me a lot," Williams said. "My freshman year I thought I was going be that guy coming in, but I sat behind him (former Bulldog and current Florida State guard Dayshawn Watkins) and learned a lot from him. My sophomore year, they put the ball in my hand, and I took advantage of that and went with that. Coach always tells me if I'm not into practice, it's going to go the other way. I made sure I came to practice and got the guys involved in practice to make sure practice was fun so we could get things done."

He was pleased the Bulldogs accomplished their goals this season. "It was a wonderful season," Williams said. "As the season went on, we bought into the coaching. We stuck together and everybody knew their role.

"It was very fun," he said of the trip to Kansas. "It was a great atmosphere. After we won a couple of games, the whole crowd was cheering for us. It was a wonderful to know we had someone behind us being that far away from home."

"I'm so excited for Jarvis," Holmes Head Coach Jason Flanigan said. "He had a wonderful season this season. Last year he struggled a little bit out of high school, but this year he was a leader for us. He was a coach on the floor and worked hard every day. I'm so proud for him and his family.

"He's a guy that other players will rub off of," he said. "He comes to work every day and practices hard. He's vocal in practice and makes your practices better. On the floor, he plays with that passion you are looking for as a coach. He's a great guy. His teammates love being around Jarvis. He's a funny guy but when it's time to get serious, he gets serious."  

Torlorf Thomas 

Alabama State, a member of the Southwestern Athletic Conference, finished the 2014-15 season with a record of 19-10 and a 14-4 record in the SWAC.

Thomas, a graduate of Meridian High School, helped lead Holmes to the NJCAA National Tournament, where the Bulldogs finished in the Elite Eight. Holmes was also the North Division and Region XXIII Champions. Thomas was second on the team in three-point shooting with a 37.7 percent average from behind the arc.

"It's a great opportunity to get an education and win the last few years," Thomas said of decision to choose Alabama State. "I'm from Montgomery. What a better opportunity to represent my city than to go play for a good team. I feel I can contribute big things to the program.

"We should keep up the winning tradition," he said. "They needed a big guard that can play a lot of positions. I think I can get in that system and play well. I feel I can do a little bit of everything. What will make me a better player is if I get better physically and learn the game more and keep learning as a player. Also, I will be a good guy on and off the court."

Thomas never regretted transferring from Georgia Southern after his freshman season. "When I decided to transfer the first coaches I called were Coach Jasons (Flanigan and Harrison). I knew I wanted to come here because they were both point guards. Early in the summer, I knew we had a chance to have a very special season. I feel we could have done a lot better, but winning was very fun."

He said the team's trip to Kansas reminded him of games he played in at Georgia Southern. "We were very excited to go to Kansas," Thomas said. "It was very fun and the people treated us very well. I was interviewed several times, and little kids even asked us to sign balls for them. It was the NCAA Tournament of junior colleges. People said we were the underdog, but I knew we were going to do good things because we played hard and trusted one another."

"We had high expectations for Torlorf," Coach Flanigan said. "It was a learning experience for him with two new coaches and two coaches that played the point guard position. It took a little time for him to start playing good basketball. Later on in the season he came along and helped us win some games. I'm excited for him to attend Alabama State and make it to division one again. I'm happy for him and his mom also.

"He's a guy that make open shots," he said. "He's a big guard and he competes when he's on the floor. His basketball IQ is very high. When he gets done with basketball, he'll be a wonderful coach. He's a great kid. He'll make open shots and run the team."

View: Mobile | Desktop