Six Mavericks headed to play college basketball

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 SPORTS) -- When Miller's Tariq Balogun started playing basketball at 14-years-old, landing a Division I basketball scholarship seemed like a distant reality, but it came to fruition on Friday.

"Not a lot of people play Division I, I can't remember what the exact stat was like, but it's a very small amount," Balogun said, who will play for Eastern Kentucky next year, "For me to just be able to separate myself and be able to play Division I it's just an outstanding feeling."

Balogun was joined by four of his teammates and girl's basketball player Hannah Woodard on Friday as Miller celebrated their opportunities to play college basketball. Miller forward Daryl Anderson will also play at the Division I level next season for Norfolk State, an opportunity he continues to work for.

"I know I'm going to have to from high school to Division I ball and I just want to prepare my body for that now," Anderson said, "I know the guys, we're already getting in group chats now talking about how we're preparing for next season, so I'm just ready for the family atmosphere."

The Miller boy's basketball team finished last season as runner-ups in the VISAA DII State Title game after winning the previous season. Friday's ceremony in the gym was a reminder of all the work it took to get there for players like Ethan Rohan, who will attend Roanoke College next year.

"We came in here together and we worked our tails off for that first year that we won the states and then the second we came up a little bit short," Rohan said, "But it's just amazing how we're all going off now."

For VISAA DII first-team All-State selection Dae Dae Heard, signing to play at Mount Olive is a chance to find a home.

"Been through a lot, I've been transferring, I got the injury," Heard said, who will redshirt his first year of college, "So it just feels good to be able to sign and find a home."

Teammate JT Fleet said playing in college did not seem possible before, but is excited for the chance to play at the Coast Guard Academy.

"I never really would have thought I had the opportunity to do this before, so it just excites me in every single way," Fleet said.

Woodard was the lone senior on this season's Miller girls team and will get a full scholarship to play at the Apprentice School next year.

"I'm pretty lucky, my dad was a succesful football player, my mom was a basketball player," Woodard said. Coming from a family of athletes I think I've been carrying the name pretty well with the last name that I have."



 
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