By Clay Fowler
Killeen Daily Herald
HARKER HEIGHTS – Matt Addison doesn't regret that Friday was simply a celebration of his signing with Navarro College, not the actual signing itself.
The events between the two could have swayed his feelings.
Addison's half-court heave at the buzzer of the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches All-Star game had barely hit the floor before Division I University of Houston offered him a scholarship. But the Harker Heights guard had signed with the junior college days before the game.
Addison was one of two in the field of 20 4A and 5A Texas high school seniors invited to the game not signed with a Division I school.
His impending stint at Navarro will change that, he said.
"(The University of Houston) is a great school, but after two years of junior college I think I can get some better offers," said Addison. "And hopefully I'll help put Navarro on the map."
During the spring Addison narrowed his choices to Howard College, Midland College, Seminole (Okla.) State College and Navarro.
Navarro sent seven players from Corsicana to Division I schools two years ago, two last year.
"(Navarro coach Lewis Orr) was walking around at the TABC All-Star game like the cat that caught the bird," said Heights basketball coach Celneque Bobbitt. "Matt is an instant 20. He'll have to wait two years until he's on TV, but these (Division I) coaches don't lose track of you while you're at a JC."
Addison was the last off the bench in the TABC All-Star game. In scoring 13 points on 5-of-8 shooting and dishing six assists, he ultimately played the most minutes, according to Bobbitt.
"I made a name for myself at that game," he said.
The 5-foot-8 guard plans on playing heavy minutes at Navarro, too.
"Whatever college I went to I knew I was going to make an impact," said Addison, who averaged 20.4 points as a senior, breaking Heights' single-season scoring record. "There's a lot of players who don't practice like me, in the rain, the cold, wherever. I'm going to do what it takes to get it done."
Addison is a notorious gym rat, something that seems unlikely to change any time soon, if ever. But no amount of practice can make him taller than 5-foot-8.
At a junior college tournament last summer, none other than Texas Tech coach Bob Knight slighted Addison due to his size, telling the guard if he came to Texas Tech he'd be counted on to pass the ball and not turn it over – scoring would be a minimal part of the equation.
"We're not worried about his size," said Navarro assistant coach Johnny Estelle. "It ain't how tall you are – we had a kid his size make the all-star team both years – it's about what's inside of you."
Navarro finished the regular season 10-20, 5-17 in the Texas Eastern Conference last season. It is the most competitive league in the nation, according to Estelle, having produced national champion Parrish two years ago.
Addison chose Navarro over more prestigious junior colleges because he wanted to make a name for the school, not let the school make a name for him.
"Matt has the character, the ability to score, the physical attributes," said Estelle, "it's all there."
Contact Clay Fowler at firstname.lastname@example.org