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5 Selma players extend careers

Wendell Lewis made his decision to attend Mississippi State official during a signing ceremony with four of his teammates at the Selma High gymnasium Wednesday morning.

When the ink on the paper dried, Lewis felt a sense of relief, knowing that the recruiting process was over.

“It feels good,” said Lewis. “I’m happy I got it out of the way.”

For Lewis, the last six months have been a whirlwind experience. He committed to Middle Tennessee State in October partly for academic reasons. However, quickly backed out of the commitment. As basketball season rolled around and his grades improved, it became apparent that the decision paid off.

His stock skyrocketed in the past two months, and his list of suitors expanded to include most of the Sun Belt Conference and five SEC schools — Alabama, Georgia, Auburn, Ole Miss and Mississippi State.

“It’s a great, terrific achievement just to be recruited by an SEC school,” said Selma coach Woodie Jackson. “Wendell was blessed that his stock went up tremendously.”

With the signing over, Lewis is now focused on finishing his academic career in Selma on a high note and make the move to Starkville in time for summer school.

“My grades are looking good,” said Lewis. “I’m going to finish up strong this year.”

As one of the SEC’s newest players, Lewis was the headliner of Selma’s class. However, he is not the only one that will don a collegiate uniform next year.

DeAngelo Norris and Justin Ravizee will attend Morehouse University in Atlanta and Jakobe Shannon and Jamie King signed with Southern Union Community College.

Norris and Ravizee received interest from Tuskegee, Stillman and Faulkner as well.

“I thought it was the best fit for me,” said Ravizee. “They showed the most interest and they have great facilities and prestige.”

Atlanta’s landscape differs from Selma’s, but the duo is ready for the change, and believes going to Morehouse together will make the transition easier.

“We’ve been playing together since we were little,” said Norris.

Like Norris and Ravizee at Morehouse, King and Shannon hope hope to make a splash together at SUCC.

“I felt like I needed to go to Southern Union to devlop,” said King. I felt like it was the best place for me to go.”

For Shannon, signing with SUCC was bittersweet. Before he was injured in a football game in the fall, Shannon was primed to receive as much recruiting attention as Lewis. Instead, he was forced to sit out the entire basketball season.

“Everything happens for a reason,” said Shannon.

SUCC coach Ron Radford agrees. He felt like he got a bargain in signing the duo.

“They’re good people. Both have tremendous upside,” said Shannon. “[Shannon] is a kid that is so talented. It was an easy gamble to take.”