Steadman earns scholarship, joins former guard with Lady Patriots

Published 8:19 pm Thursday, May 17, 2018

Carriea Steadman, a 6-foot-2 inch forward from Francis Marion High School, signed her letter of intent to play college basketball at Wallace Community College Selma Thursday morning in the school auditorium.

“I’m glad that I was given the opportunity to go to school and not worry about paying for it,” Steadman said.

It was a prideful moment for Steadman’s mother, Kimala Steadman Essex, who watched her daughter sign the letter.

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“I’m very proud of her,” Essex said. “Hard work and determination spoke out. I’m glad she’ll get to be local at first, and then she can branch out. It was a little difficult at first, but she didn’t settle. She waited until all the offers came in, and then she decided to go with WCCS.”

Steadman was a multi-sport athlete for the Francis Marion Rams. Not only was she a dominant post player for the Lady Rams basketball team, but she also finished in fourth place in the high jump (4-06) at the Class 2A state championship meet in Cullman earlier this month.

Francis Marion doesn’t have a track nor a high jump pit on campus to practice with, yet Steadman’s athleticism and dedication to practice earned her a position on the leaderboards.

She was the top player for the Lady Rams this past season, and Francis Marion girls basketball coach Curtis Williams was pleased to see his MVP earn a scholarship to further her education and continue playing basketball.

“Carriea is a very special player who led my team for the last three years,” Williams said. “She’s an awesome rebounder with great inside-scoring ability, and she can finish around the rim.”

Steadman averaged 18 points, eight rebounds and three assists per game this past season, according to Williams.

“She was my most valuable player, and I hope she’ll be an MVP at the next level,” he said.

The Lady Rams didn’t have a point guard to run things this past season, so as a senior leader, Steadman had to contribute in multiple ways to help her team get wins.

“I had to do what I had to do to help build the team up and be an example for them,” she said.

Her height, leaping ability and rim-protection ability made her a good find for WCCS Lady Patriots head coach Herman Turner. He believes he got a steal in signing Steadman, who received offers from other schools like Wallace Community College Andalusia, Mississippi University for Women and Faulkner University.

“We try to find athletes that are good people and good students,” Turner said. “Us getting her is a steal because they didn’t go too far in the tournament. I guarantee she probably would’ve gotten offers from some of the D-II schools. She’s an all-around good athlete, and hopefully she continues to improve. From what I’ve seen, she was probably the best post player in Central Alabama.”

Steadman decided WCCS Selma was the right for her because it was close to home, and her former teammate Moesha Gayles is already on the Lady Patriots’ roster.

“I chose WCCS because I know a lot of familiar faces, and my former point guard is playing there now,” Steadman said. “Gayles was a big impact on our school, and I see the other people that are coming to WCCS made big impacts on their school’s teams.”

Steadman joins an impressive list of recruits who have already committed to WCCS. Turner was also able to sign the Times-Journal Girls Basketball Player of the Year Shatavia Moore from Keith High School this past April, and Class 1A first-team All-state selection Amber Richardson from Linden High School.

“I think we have a very successful recruiting class this year with the freshman we have coming in,” Turner said. “Along with the eight players we have coming back, we should do well.”

Steadman was inspired by the role her coaches have played in her life, and she wants to study kinesiology while in college.