By Rob Potter
LOCH SHELDRAKE May 23, 2006 Everage Richardson is continuing to live out his basketball dreams.
When Richardson walked onto the Sullivan County Community College campus in 2004, he had several goals in mind. First, he wanted to become one of the best players on the SCCC mens basketball team and help one of the most successful National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division III programs continue its winning tradition. Second, he wanted to earn an associate degree during his two years at SCCC. Third, he wanted to play well enough with the Generals to earn a chance to compete for a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) basketball team.
Richardson, who played his scholastic basketball at Washington Irving High School in New York City, achieved that final goal just 10 days ago. On Saturday, May 13, Richardson signed a letter of intent to play for Coastal Carolina, an NCAA Division I school located in Conway, SC, near the resort city of Myrtle Beach.
Coaches from Coastal Carolina had been talking to me for awhile, Richardson said. I flew down there for a visit and took a tour of the campus. I worked out for the coaches and things went well. They put an offer on the table and I took it.
That offer was a four-year scholarship to attend Coastal Carolina and become a member of the schools mens basketball team. While the scholarship applies to the next four years, Richardson only has two years of athletic eligibility remaining after playing two seasons at SCCC.
SCCC Coach Chris DePew noted that Richardson is the 15th General to move on to an NCAA Division I school during the nine years he has been a member of the teams coaching staff. DePew said that about 30 Generals have continued their hoops careers at NCAA Division II and III schools in that time period.
Naturally, DePew is very happy for Richardson.
Im very proud of him, his mothers very proud of him, were all proud of him, DePew said. Were very pleased Everage has this opportunity. In addition to being an excellent basketball player, he is just a great kid.
As far as his academic goals, Richardson will graduate from SCCC this summer with an associate degree in Sports Management and Recreation Leadership.
Regarding his goal to help the Generals maintain their winning tradition, Richardson, a 6-foot-2 guard, helped the team register 20-plus wins in both the 2004-2005 and 2005-2006 seasons. In addition, he played a key role as SCCC won the 2004-2005 Mid-Hudson Conference championship and was a big reason the Generals were ranked number one in the NJCAA Division III preseason poll that was released last October.
Despite missing 15 games this past season due to a broken bone in his foot, Richardson averaged 25.3 points, 6.4 rebounds, 4.4 steals and 3.5 assists per contest. For the second straight season, the Mid-Hudson Conference coaches named him the conferences Most Valuable Player.
He was also named to the All-Region XV team for both of his seasons at SCCC.
I really enjoyed my time here at Sullivan, Richardson said. I just want to thank all the coaches and everybody at Sullivan for helping me to reach this goal. I had a lot of fun at Sullivan. It was a good experience and I feel that because of it I am well prepared for this next step.
Richardson is looking forward to the challenges of playing for Coastal Carolina, which is a member of the Big South Conference.
I want to work hard and be able to make an impact at that program, he commented.
While everyone who knows Richardson realizes he will give it 100 percent to make his mark at Coastal Carolina, they also know what kind of a legacy he is leaving behind at SCCC.
For instance, Richardsons career total of 977 points places him third on Sullivans all-time list.
DePew surmised that Richardson would have become the Generals all-time leading scorer if he had not suffered that foot injury this past season.
Everage is one of the best basketball players weve ever had here at Sullivan, DePew said. Whoever takes his position next season is going to have some very big shoes to fill.