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JDCC basketball signs recruit, gets verbal with another player

By By BRUCE HIXON Sports Editor
Another piece of the puzzle has been added to the Jefferson Davis Community College Warhawks basketball roster for the 2004-05 season.
Coach Allen Gainer has signed Arthur Richardson, a 6-5, 180-pound guard/forward from Niceville (Fla.).
"Arthur was a key part of a team that won better than 20 games last season. Niceville is a Class 5A school in Florida and that is one of their biggest classes," Gainer said. "We're probably looking at Arthur to play a two (shooting guard) or a three (small forward) although we're probably leaning towards a three spot for him. He'll probably compete with (transfer) Richard Ford for that role. He is pretty athletic and shoots the ball well. He has decent quickness. When we signed him, we looked more at his size than quickness. That's not to say he is a slow player because he is not."
JDCC has also gotten a verbal agreement with Mujahdi Staten, a 6-1, 160-pound guard from Madison (Fla.).
"We could be looking at Mujahdi to play either the point or a shooting guard. He shoots the ball pretty well and I think his ability to control the ball is solid, but we want to see how well he stacks up against better competition before we determine his position," Gainer said.
Gainer hopes to complete Staten's signing within the next couple of weeks.
The addition of Richardson and possibly Staten would give JDCC nine recruits for the upcoming season. Gainer emphasized size with the initial portion of his recruiting.
That list includes Keith Myers, a 6-5, 250-pound forward/center from Barndao (La.), Donovan McMullen, a 6-10 1/2, 220-pound center from Atlanta, Micaiah Anthony, a 6-7, 210-pound forward from Baker (Fla.), Sam Smith, a 6-5, 200-pound forward from Americus (Ga.) and Kedric Wilson, a 6-5, 210-pound forward from Raceland (La.).
Earlier JDCC also added to its backcourt with the signings of Jairus Jackson, a 6-0, 180-pound guard from LeFlore and Corey Webb, a 5-8 guard from Centerville (La.).
The Warhawks will also add the services of Ford, a 6-8, 180-pound forward from Birmingham. Ford spent the last fall semester at Weatherford Community College in Texas. He transferred to JDCC for the spring semester. While he could not play, Ford was able to practice with the Warhawks after his transfer.
"We emphasized a lot on size with our earlier signings, but I think we've addressed our backcourt needs now. One thing we wanted to improve is our backcourt defense," Gainer said.
If Staten signs, that would leave JDCC with one scholarship left for next season.
"We've been in contact with some area players. We've offered the scholarship to somebody and right now he is considering. If that player declines, we'll go another direction," Gainer said.
The Warhawks received a some bad news about one of their recruits. Myers suffered a broken foot during a pickup basketball game a few days ago and will have to wear a walking cast until about the first or second week of the fall semester.
"In addition to the injury itself, it's Keith's left foot and that is the foot he uses to jump off," Gainer said. "We'll begin our conditioning program when the fall semester starts so Keith will fall a little behind in that area due to the injury".
Myers is the second JDCC player who has to overcome an injury going into next season. Sophomore forward Jamal Carson injured his knee in last year's season opener and did not return. He was later redshirted.
"I haven't talked to Jamal for a few days so I'm not sure how he is coming along. He was making some progress with the knee when he left school in the spring, but it's still a concern," Gainer said.
JDCC's 2004-05 schedule is unfinished at this time, but a couple of dates of interest have been set.
The Warhawks will open their campaign November 9 with a 7 p.m. home contest against Pensacola Christian College.
JDCC's first contest against an Alabama Community College Conference school is its second contest, a November 13 home game at 7 p.m. against Gadsden State.
"It's an ACCC team, but that game actually doesn't count in our league standings because they are in the north division and we're in the south. In a way, the north and south divisions are like two separate leagues," Gainer said.
The Warhawks are not currently scheduled to play any ACCC "counters" until January.