• December 21, 2014

Hughes takes opportunity at Western Texas

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Posted: Thursday, May 16, 2013 4:30 am | Updated: 11:59 am, Wed Sep 3, 2014.

Standing 6-foot-7, Andre Hughes already has a Division I frame.

Now, he’s got the opportunity to take care of the other Division I requirements while also continuing to do what he loves — playing basketball.

During a ceremony at the school, the Harker Heights senior post signed a letter of intent to play basketball at the Western Texas College, a junior college in Snyder, where he can work on his education and meeting Division I entrance requirements.

“Basically, this is like a stepping (stone), when I get to this college I just want to focus on my grades and basketball,” Hughes said. “So I can stay there a year or so and then transfer to a D-I school. That’s my mindset when I get there.”

Hughes received interest from several Division I programs, but his test scores forced him to pursue the junior college route.

“Andre is a kid we had to work with a little bit extra in the classroom to help him get his stuff taken care of, and he had to learn how to deal with his situation, and ultimately him being a good kid took him a long way,” Knights coach Celneque Bobbitt said.

In his second season on varsity as a senior, Hughes averaged 8.7 points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.9 assists and shot 57 percent from the field.

“Right now I’m excited. Some players don’t get the chance to play basketball on after high school and this is a big thing for me, I get to do what I love — play basketball,” Hughes said.

Simmons to Schreiner

Codi Simmons didn’t really envision herself a college basketball player.

Not until she actually found some interest. The Ellison senior guard sent out a flier on a whim to Schreiner University several weeks back and was admittedly shocked when she got a response from a Schreiner coach.

“I actually surprised myself because I didn’t expect to get a scholarship, and the fact that I have an opportunity to start over and show them what I can really do — not that I didn’t have the opportunity (here) but I didn’t put myself out there like I should have — but I just feel thankful,” Simmons said.

Simmons signed committal papers to play basketball at Division III Schriener University in Kerrville during a ceremony Wednesday at the high school.

“I’m really excited because no one in my family had the chance to go to college and the fact that my skills got me to go there for free, basically, I’m going to take advantage of it,” she said.

In just one season on varsity, Simmons rotated back and forth between the starting lineup and the bench, including once when a discipline issue in school resulted in a one-game suspension and necessitated her working herself back into the good graces of the Lady Eagles coaching staff.

“That was the moment like when you think about quitting because it’s not worth it, but I stuck it through,” Simmons said.

The opportunity to continue her playing career, something she had nearly given up at one point this past season, was something Simmons wasn’t going to pass up.

“I feel like I had a second chance really,” said Simmons, who was the junior varsity MVP as a junior before earning a place on varsity as a senior.

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