MARIANNA, FL (WJHG/WECP) Chipola coach Greg Franklin is among the area Juco basketball coaches working to guide his program through this pandemic and the lockdown of sorts it's caused for athletics on all levels.
Coach Greg Franklin giving his players some time for Christmas as they enjoy a 13-1 start.
One of the first orders of business for coach Franklin, after figuring out where to house returning players, or help get them home, and into the online learning process, was helping some other players move forward.
And now that mission is complete, as he's recently seen four of his players either sign with, or commit to Division One programs!
"We've had three that signed, and one that's committed." coach Franklin told me via Skype Saturday. "The one that's committed, Ana Bernardo, she's committed to Chicago State. Ariel Cummings has signed with West Virginia. Rachel Johnson is going to Wichita State. And last, our freshman that kind of came on the scene, a sharpshooter, she's going to Cincinnati, that would be (Caitlyn) Wilson."
Caitlyn Wilson, the coach referring to. Now all that very good for those four young ladies, who get to continue their academics on scholarship, and play at the highest level of college ball, but it's very good for the program, from a word of mouth reputation perspective, especially in this unique recruiting environment we're in!
"It is, and you know what, it's something that sells to the next group to come along. But it's always good to have your kids go to somewhere they're extremely excited about going to. You know that's one of the goals in recruiting. When I recruit someone I'll say 'I'm shooting for championships and graduation but at the end of this, we want to have three places that you're extremely excited about to further you education and your athletic career."
While getting all that done, the coach also having to focus on recruiting, and certainly a new style of recruiting during this shutdown.
"I feel like I've gone back to being a 17-18 year old kid, where I have to text all the time. And Facetime. Doing virtual tours. Pictures I've been all over this campus taking pictures. Luckily we had a great recruiting type video on hand when all this happened so, our guy Eric Dove does a great job with that type of stuff. So it kind of sells, Chipola sells the community and we've been able to send that out to a lot of our recruits. And we've signed five, and hopefully have six by the end of this weekend."
Coach says whenever he gets the word that allows them to get back in the gym he'll have a plan ready for that. He's hoping that call will come sooner than later.
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