South Georgia Tech Jets sign impressive group for 2016-17 basketball season

Published 10:37 am Monday, July 18, 2016


AMERICUS – South Georgia Technical College (SGTC) Jets’ head basketball coach, Travis Garrett, and assistant coach, Chris Ballauer, have signed 11 new prospects for the upcoming 2016 -17 basketball season and are bringing back two veterans from last season.
“We are very excited about this new class,” Garrett recently said. “The new group of potential Jets includes four college transfers as well as one former Americus-Sumter High School graduate, Fred Bryant, a 5’ 10” freshman guard.”
In addition to these 11 new prospects, Coach Garrett will also have two players, Pat Welch and Rico Simmons, returning from his first season as the head coach of the Jets. His team finished the 2015-16 season with a 15-16 record and advanced to the quarter-final round of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Region XVII tournament.
Simmons, a 5’ 9” sophomore from Wilkinson County, averaged 9.6 points per game as a freshman with SGTC and was the team’s MVP from the 2015-16 season. He started 17 games for the Jets as a freshman and shot 36.5 percent from the field as well as 31 percent from the three-point line. He was also an 84.3 percent free throw shooter.
Welch, a 6’ 0’ guard from Manchester, NH, will also be returning. He started eight games last season, but only played in 17 games due to an injury. Welch was averaging 6.2 points per game as well as shooting 34.9 percent from the field and 34.2 percent from the three-point line.

Submitted by South Georgia Technical College:   Rico Simmons (5) and Pat Welch (15) are the two JETS returning for the 2016-17 basketball season at South Georgia Technical College.

Submitted by South Georgia Technical College:
Rico Simmons (5) and Pat Welch (15) are the two JETS returning for the 2016-17 basketball season at South Georgia Technical College.

Joining those two returning guards will be four college transfers. They are: Andre Kennedy, a 6’ 7” forward from Albany,; Bobby Jackson, a 6’ 6” sophomore from Dacula, Ga., who played at East Georgia College and is a graduate of Bermar High School; Ed Jones, a 6’ 8” forward from Fairburn, Ga., who played a Jacksonville State University and graduated from Creekside High School; and Jordan Bates, a 6’ 6” forward from Apopka, Fl., who is coming from West Florida University.
“Andre Kennedy is a graduate of Westover High School and played his first season at Lawson State. He is an athletic forward and is a very good rebounder. He also has good ball handling ability, a good midrange shot, and is great in transition. He is a welcome addition to the program,” said Garrett.
Coach Garrett is also pleased with Bobby Jackson, who will add experience to the team. “Bobby is a very athletic wing that plays above the rim and is also great in transition,” explained Garrett.
The third transfer, Ed Jones, was described by Garrett as a quality young man that will also be a great addition to the program. “Ed is a long athletic forward that has the ability to play inside/out offensively and block shots on the defense,” Garrett added.
Jordan Bates is the other incoming player with some collegiate experience. “He is a big lefty wing that plays extremely hard and has the ability to shoot and drive and is very effective in transition,” said Garrett.
The other seven prospects include Americus-Sumter High School standout guard, Fred Bryant. “Fred is a very explosive guard that can shoot or finish at the basket. He is very passionate about the game and has been well coached. The best is yet to come for him,” said Garrett.
Joining Bryant as freshmen will be:  Mike Boone, a 6’2” point guard from Concord Prep in North Carolina; James Rogers, a 6’ 6” guard from Charleston, SC; Erikas Jaksyts, a 6’ 3” guard from Lithuania Combine Academy; Jeremy Myers, a 6’ 7” forward from Tallahassee, Fl.; and DeAntre Mack, a 6’ 1” guard from Jonesboro, Ga.
“We are excited about this group of prospects and we are looking forward to the upcoming season,” said Coach Garrett. “We encourage everyone to come out and support the Jets because this is going to be a fun team to watch.”