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Examiner
  • Area standouts choose colleges

  • Blue Springs South basketball coach Jimmy Cain was hoping for a package deal, where his standout senior guards Justin Pitts and Carl Martin might attend the same college, but it didn’t happen.

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  • Blue Springs South basketball coach Jimmy Cain was hoping for a package deal, where his standout senior guards Justin Pitts and Carl Martin might attend the same college, but it didn’t happen.
    “We all wanted to see what Justin and Carl might have accomplished if they had played college ball together,” said Cain, as Martin and Pitts became the premier guard tandem in Eastern Jackson County the past three years while playing for the Jaguars. “We’re all just happy knowing that they are going to get the chance to play college ball.”
    Pitts, The Examiner’s 2012-13 Boys Player of the Year, has signed with NCAA Division II Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville, and Martin, who was a member of the All-Area team, has signed with the NAIA’s Graceland University in Lamoni, Iowa.
    “I’m excited,” said Pitts, a low-key defensive standout who holds every steals record at South and averaged 16.4 points a game his senior season. “I don’t care so much that I missed the signing day. That’s not that important to me. What’s important is that I know where I’m going to school.
    “The coaches from Northwest Missouri talked to Coach Cain and I went up there and fell in love with the place. I like the coaches, the campus – I like everything about the school.”
    Austin Meyer, a former all-state standout at Blue Springs High School, is an assistant coach at Northwest Missouri.
    “Coach Cain told me about Coach Meyer,” Pitts said. “It will be fun to work with a coach who is from Blue Springs.”
    While the Bearcat coaches made no promises, Pitts hopes to contribute as a freshman.
    “They said if I work hard, I can play as a freshman,” Pitts said. “I always work hard. I’m excited about the challenge.”
    So is his longtime teammate, who hopes to contribute at Graceland as a freshman.
    “I can’t wait to get to Graceland,” Martin said. “It’s going to be weird not playing with Justin and all the guys from South. But I can’t wait to play college ball. Like Justin said, when I visited Graceland I knew that’s where I wanted to go.
    “It’s small and I like the coaches. They really made me feel like a part of the team.”
    Pitts and Martin weren’t the only area stars to sign college letters as hot-shooting Truman guard Lane Titus will play basketball against Pitts at Division II Missouri Western in St. Joseph. The Griffins are Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association rivals with Northwest Missouri.
    “I always dreamed of playing Division I or Division II basketball and I’m getting the chance to play Division II at Missouri Western,” said Titus, a member of The Examiner’s All-Area basketball first team and also a standout baseball player.
    Page 2 of 2 - “I reached out to Missouri Western after they saw me play at the Mo-Kan All-Star Game. I didn’t really know where I was going to go to college, and now, I know where I’m going and I know I’m going to get the chance to play basketball.
    “It’s a great fit for me. It’s far enough away that I feel like I’m going away to school, but it’s close enough that my mom and dad and friends can come watch me play, and that was important to me.”
    Follow Bill Althaus on Twitter: @AlthausEJC
     
     
     

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