Darren Wilsonâ€™s dreams of playing college basketball began when he was just 7 years old.
Friday at Betty G. Ross Park in front of LaDonna and Walter, his mother and father, mentor Dennis Lee, teacher Tracy Livingston and friends (including former Wolves football star Damion Forney) Wilson signed with Clinton Junior College to play basketball.
Wilson, a point guard, directed the Wolves into the state playoffs, averaging 18 points per game.
The seed for Wilson to attend Clinton in Rock Hill was planted by one of Darrenâ€™s teachers, Ms. McDowell.
â€œShe told me a lot about it. She felt I would would fit in academically and athletically,â€ Wilson said.
Wilson visited Clinton two weeks ago and for the most part made his decision on the spot.
â€œFor myself, it was not that big. I felt it would be a good place to bring my grades up and better myself. Hopefully, move on to a 4-year university,â€ he said.
One of the motivating factors for Wilsonâ€™s decision was Murphy Garven the head coach for Clinton.
â€œHeâ€™s a coach you can discuss things with and donâ€™t have to hold back anything,â€ Wilson said.
Darrenâ€™s mother was happy with her sonâ€™s decision to have the signing at Betty G. Ross Park.
â€œHe felt like the â€˜Recâ€™ gave him so much over the years, and there were so many people he wanted to thank,â€ she said.
The six-foot guard felt the â€˜Recâ€™ was the place that gave his hoop dreams wings.
â€œEver since I was seven I wanted to go to college somewhere and play ball. The â€˜Recâ€™ gave me the opportunity to do that,â€ he said.
Wilson had plenty of thank-yous on the occasion.
â€œI want to thank the Lord first. My family for being by my side and believing in me. I would also like to thank all my coaches (on every level) and anybody that helped me along the way,â€ he said.
Wilson was not only a standout on the hardwood, but on the gridiron as well. So does Wilson have any plans to play college football? No, it appears the 1,700 yard rusher is hanging up his cleats.
â€œI liked football, but basketball is my first love,â€ he said.
Wilson, who is not yet a SAT qualifier, plans to take the test again next month.
His ultimate goal is to play basketball for a four-year university.
With Wilsonâ€™s big smile and likeable personality, on the court skills, hard work and determinationâ€” that goal is a score away.by John Mark Brooks