Georgia Northwestern Inks Chattanooga Hardwood Prospect

Thursday, May 23, 2013 - by Don Foley
Silverdale Baptist Academy’s (TN) John Hall, seated middle, signs his letter of intent to Georgia Northwestern during a May 10 signing at the Chattanooga, Tennessee prep school. Seated to Hall’s left is his mother, Reeda Hall, and to his right is his father, Toby Hall. Standing, from left, is Shirley Crum, Hall’s grandmother, Georgia Northwestern Head Men’s Basketball Coach David Stephenson,  Silverdale Baptist Academy Head Boys’ Basketball Coach Randy Evans, and Silverdale Baptist Academy Athletic Director Al Rogers.
Silverdale Baptist Academy’s (TN) John Hall, seated middle, signs his letter of intent to Georgia Northwestern during a May 10 signing at the Chattanooga, Tennessee prep school. Seated to Hall’s left is his mother, Reeda Hall, and to his right is his father, Toby Hall. Standing, from left, is Shirley Crum, Hall’s grandmother, Georgia Northwestern Head Men’s Basketball Coach David Stephenson, Silverdale Baptist Academy Head Boys’ Basketball Coach Randy Evans, and Silverdale Baptist Academy Athletic Director Al Rogers.

Barely 18 years old, one of Chattanooga’s top prep prospects made the decision to ink with Georgia Northwestern in a May 10 signing at Silverdale Baptist Academy in Hamilton County.

John Hall, a 6-foot-3, 185-pound slasher, dropped in 15 points and pulled down 10 boards a game during his senior campaign with the Hawks. “He is a leader that plays above the rim. He’s truly a coach on the floor and that’s so helpful,” said Silverdale’s Head Boys’ Basketball Coach Randy Evans who will be entering his second year as top Hawk this fall.

“Whether I get in for one minute or twenty minutes a game in college, I just want to give what I can. God’s blessed me and I want to just be a part of it all,” said Hall in a signing-day interview. “They are giving me an opportunity. I’ll serve how I’m needed.” During his high school run, Hall helped lead Silverdale to its first-ever post-season regional tournament bid in the TSSAA’s Region 3-A bracket.

It was a reunion of sorts on this signing day as Georgia Northwestern Head Men’s Basketball Coach David Stephenson returned to familiar grounds. For three years, Stephenson served as a coach for boys’ and girl’s teams at Silverdale nearly a decade ago. “John (Hall), and a couple of other potential players for the three-spot, will be drilled vigorously to figure out where he will fit into the puzzle,” said Stephenson. “He’s a true inside-out presence.”

Hall first gained notoriety on a larger stage in another sport. At 12 years of age, Silverdale Baptist Academy’s John Hall was already on a roll. He represented the United States in an international bowling program sponsored by the United States Bowling Congress. “I think I placed like 54th in the world or something,” said Hall. “I then got to play on the varsity bowling team at Silverdale in the eighth grade. However, I wasn’t going to skip bowling for basketball so that was my last year of that.”

During his elementary school years, Hall primarily played Upward Basketball in Chattanooga. “Now that I look back on it, it was a great opportunity for up-and-coming players,” said Hall. “It’s like when I first gave my life to Christ, being a part of something where you get to preach through basketball is great.”

Evans and his Hawks will be filling a large hole in the 2013-14 season. “John just plays so much bigger than he is,” said Evans. “Other teams just realizing he can play both sides of the court successfully was a bonus for us. Most coaches ask me if he plays football, too. He’s got that size and strength that you usually see in a football player. Once he gets above the rim, he is going to finish.”

Now entering his seventh year as the Bobcats head coach, Stephenson says he is running a recruiting season in which he is signing student-athletes with what he calls “grit.” Stephenson says Hall fits that mold. “He brings a lot of character to our team. He’s the kind of person you just love to coach,” said Stephenson. “We have brought in a lot of solid good young men that understand this program is about success, but academic success, first and foremost.”

For more information on Bobcats Athletics at Georgia Northwestern Technical College, contact the Office of Sports Information at 706.764.3813, through BobcatsCountry.com, or by e-mail to dfoley@gntc.edu. Georgia Northwestern Technical College is the largest college in Northwest Georgia educating more than 10,000 students every year. GNTC offers more than 200 programs on five different campuses and online throughout the year.


Melvin (B.J.) Upton To Miss Rest Of Spring Training

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- After undergoing an MRI on Friday afternoon, Braves center fielder Melvin Upton Jr. learned that a left foot injury will sideline him throughout Spring Training and likely force him to spend the first few weeks of the regular season on the disabled list. The MRI showed Upton is dealing with sesamoiditis (inflammation in the bone behind the ball of ... (click for more)

Seniors Lead Lady Vols Past UGA, 70-59

Tennessee returned to its winning ways on Thursday night with a 70-59 victory over Georgia. The Lady Vols (24-4 overall, 14-1) bounced back after their first conference loss of the season at #2 South Carolina on Monday with a well-balanced performance at Stegeman Coliseum. Senior  Cierra Burdick  posted a double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds. It was Burdick's ... (click for more)

Council Will Consider 7 Applicants For 11th Judicial District Opening On April 9

Seven attorneys have applied for the Hamilton County Criminal Court judge position that will become vacant on  June 1,  upon the retirement of Judge Rebecca Stern. The Governor’s Council for Judicial Appointments will meet in Chattanooga on  April 9  to consider these applicants: Johnny D. Houston, Jr. Chattanooga D. Marty Lasley ... (click for more)

Case Against Red Bank Officer In Beating Of Hispanic Man To Go To Grand Jury

The Hamilton County District Attorney General’s Office has reviewed the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation report regarding Red Bank Police Officer Mark Kaylor and the case will be submitted for consideration by the Hamilton County Grand Jury next week, District Attorney Neal Pinkston said. Officer Kaylor was seen on his squad car dash-cam hitting an Hispanic man seven times ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Has Always Been A Battleground Between Good And Evil

From the thousands slain in nearby Chickamauga Battlefield during the Civil War…  To the launching point of the Cherokee Indian’s Trail of Tears…  To the lunch counter sit-ins led by Howard School students — the only high school student sit-ins in the nation — during the Civil Rights Movement…  To Walter Cronkite calling the polluted Southern industrial town ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Our 92-Year-Old Victim

It is with great pride, and far greater relief, that I can report a “caretaker” is far different than a “boyfriend.” A story out of Memphis earlier this week morphed into a virtual fireball that had such power it appeared on the front page on a London newspaper and other news outlets all around the world when it was reported by the Associated Press a 28-year-old man had assaulted ... (click for more)