By S. Thomas Coleman
For the AJC
News and notes from Class A basketball …
Football players key to teams’ basketball success. While many high school athletes have decided to forgo other sports in order to devote time to perfecting their skills in one, there are still thousands of multi-sport athletes doing big things. Here are three football players who are making big contributions on the basketball court. Let us know who else (boys and girls) needs to be on this list:
Rashard Fant, Our Lady of Mercy. The 5-foot.-10, 160-pound junior point guard is averaging 15 points and eight assists to just two turnovers per game for the Bobcats (11-6). Fant is one of the state’s most dynamic playmakers in football scoring 15 touchdowns this season from six different positions – kickoff returner, punt returner, running back, receiver, Wildcat quarterback and corner back (interception return). In footbal Fant is being recruited by Duke, Florida State, Georgia Tech and North Carolina State, while Fullerton, St. Louis, Tusculum, UC-Davis and UNLV have expressed interest in basketball.
Junior Gnonkonde, Lanier County. At 6-6 and 230 pounds, Gnonkonde is one of the “Big Three” seniors (along with guard Malik Kone and forward Emmanuel Ezoua) that has the Bulldogs (16-3) ranked No. 7. Gnonkonde, who plays center and power forward, is averaging 16 points and 11 rebounds. In football, though he recently had a scholarship offer from Georgia Tech pulled, supposedly for low test scores, the speedy defensive end/linebacker is still being recruited heavily by Air Force, Central Florida, Florida, Kentucky and Ole Miss, among others.
Kyle Sloter, Mt. Pisgah. How important to the Patriots is the 6-5, 220-pound senior center/forward? The team was 11-1 before Sloter sat out the next seven games due to an ankle injury and a couple of official recruiting visits for football. Mt. Pisgah went 1-6 in those contests. At quarterback, Sloter, who recently switched his commitment from Tulane to Southern Mississippi, accounted for 2,315 total yards and 21 touchdowns last season.
Harris worth the price of admission. Macon County is just 4-10 this season, but it may be worth taking a trip down to Montezuma to see sophomore Mykia Harris. The 5-5, lightning-quick guard is averaging 22 points, four assists and four steals for the Bulldogs. She recently scored 29 points in a 57-38 loss to Dooly County.