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.



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