For years, they worked.
From an early age, the idea of playing their favorite sports at the collegiate level consumed them, driving them to crave constant improvement.
On Wednesday, the countless hours of dedication paid off as eight Killeen athletes made their commitments official during a spring signing ceremony, and for Lady Kangaroos guard Meleanna Williams, the moment was worth it.
“It feels good to finally put ink to paper,” she said. “These past four years have been tough. There were a lot of times that my grandparents asked me, ‘Are you going to graduate? What are you going to do about school?’”
Williams finally had an answer for her grandparents as she signed to play basketball at Wiley College.
The Kangaroos basketball team had two athletes sign to play at the collegiate level in Cortez Ivie and Devonte Garrett.
“Cortez is a three-year varsity starter, who totaled 1,500 career points,” Kangaroos head coach Reggie Huggins said. “In his last game, he scored 44 points against Harker Heights.”
A 40-point game in high school is rare, but Ivie achieved that feat twice in his senior season, and now, he will compete for Bethel College.
Garrett signed to continue playing at Southwest Texas Junior College and looks forward to reuniting with a familiar face and former teammate in his brother Dekelvin Garrett.
“Tip affects the defensive side of the ball,” Huggins said of Devonte Garrett. “He led the team in rebounds, steals and always guarded the opposing team’s best offensive player.
“He knew that was his assignment coming into the season, and he embraced it.”
Tula Lefotu isn’t going far after signing his letter of intent to play
football for the defending Division III national champions at Mary Hardin-Baylor.
“He’s an example of a sacrificing individual,” Killeen assistant coach Robert Hawkins said. “He was a three-year starter at linebacker, but he played multiple positions.
“It was never about him. It was always about the team.”
Colin Price just closed out his senior season as the regional champion in the long jump as well as advancing to the Class 6A state track and field meet in the 110-meter hurdles and long jump.
Price signed to compete in track and field for Houston.
“He could have gone to play football,” Kangaroos head track and field coach Greg Russell said, “But he excelled in track.
“And now he’s going on and will have two Olympian coaches, who are excited to have him.”
Additionally, K.J. McMurray signed to cheer for Stephen F. Austin, while Lauren Robertson and Brittney Scagliusi each signed to dance at the collegiate level. Robertson committed to Blinn College, and Scagliusi signed with McLennan Community College.