Four area athletes sign scholarships

From left to right, mother Diyonne McGraw, P.K. Yonge coach Willie Powers, Brooksie McGraw and father Mark McGraw attend a signing ceremony at P.K. Yonge on Wednesday.

Larry Savage/Staff
Published: Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, November 15, 2012 at 1:00 a.m.

P.K. Yonge's Brooksie McGraw, Buchholz's Jessica Thomas, Bradford's Justin McBride and Trenton's Clif Bryant make their college decisions official.


School: P.K. Yonge

Sport: Girls basketball

Position: Center

Height: 6-foot-2

College chosen: University of Alabama

Other schools considered: Southern Mississippi, FAMU, UNC-Charlotte, Temple, FAU.

Stats: A second-team all-area selection last year, averaging 6.0 points, 6.0 rebounds and 2.0 blocked shots per game as the Blue Wave captured the Class 3A state title. Had seven rebounds in 58-43 win over Miramar Parkway Academy in title game.

Quotable: “I’ve always wanted to go to a big college. I have a big personality, so I knew I would be accepted well. It is a lot like Gainesville in that you can live on your own and just grow as a person. That is exactly what I am doing by going to University of Alabama. I always knew the day that I was going to sign would be the first day of National Signing Day.” — Brooksie McGraw

— Larry Savage


School: Buchholz

Sport: Girls basketball

Position: Guard

Height: 5-foot-7

College chosen: University of Miami

Other schools considered: Jacksonville, Prairie View A&M (Texas)

Stats: A two-time first-team all-area player who averaged 14.0 points, 7.0 assists and 4.0 rebounds per game as a junior as the Bobcats reached the Class 7A state semifinals. Also helped the Buchholz girls golf team finish fourth at state with a team-best 11th-place individual finish.

Quotable: “Going there and meeting the coaches, staff and players, I just felt comfortable. Just being there made me feel like it is a home away from home. Definitely wanted to get this out of the way so it is smooth sailing, just school and basketball now. We are not expected to do a lot this year. A lot of people are probably doubting us since we lost so many people, and it will be hard. It is a very different type of team, but as the season goes on, we will learn how to adapt and learn how to win.” — Jessica Thomas

— Larry Savage


School: Bradford

Sport: Boys basketball

Position: Center

Height: 6-foot-10

Weight: 330 pounds

College chosen: University of Central Florida

Other schools considered: Miami; Florida State.

Stats: A first-team all-area selection last year, he averaged 15.9 points, 11.7 rebounds and 4.4 blocked shots per game as the Tornadoes reached the Class 4A regional playoffs.

Quotable: “I am very excited. It is a sense of accomplishment, just knowing it is one less thing that I have to worry about going into this season. I am happy and I am extremely excited that now I can just focus on my team for this season. I didn’t want to leave Florida. I’m a mama’s boy. After I visited UCF, it was in the bag. Just the chemistry between the team and the coaches and just the way the coaches respected the players and the players respected the coaches, really opened my eyes. I loved the life on campus, it is a very lively campus.” — Justin McBride

— Cliff Olsen


School: Trenton

Sport: Baseball

Position: First baseman

Height: 6-foot

Weight: 215 pounds

College chosen: Winthrop University (Rock Hill, S.C.)

Other schools considered: UNF; FAU; Alabama State

Stats: A first-team all-area selection last year, batted .440 with eight doubles, two home runs and 25 RBIs for the District 6-1A champion Tigers.

Quotable: “I was so nervous, my teeth were chattering. I was relieved. It was like something was lifted off of my shoulders. I took a visit up there, not really knowing what I was getting myself into. I felt like I was at home, in the country. It was a little colder. Every building is brick, it is like an old school campus. It was exciting. I’m ready to go, I’m ready for the high school season to start and then I’m ready to get up there and start playing.” — Clif Bryant

— Cliff Olsen

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