Brinson signs with LCC
By Gabe Whisnant
Published in Sports on April 9, 2004 2:01 PM
It is safe to say Goldsboro senior Ray Brinson will look back on his 18th birthday with a sense of pride.
On Thursday, Brinson's birthday, the six-foot-nine, 245-pound center signed to play basketball at nearby Lenoir Community College. His scholarship will cover all tuition and fees for the 2004-2005 academic year.
The Lancers were 12-16 last year, which marked their first losing season in the last nine under 27-year head coach Bobby Dawson, who has compiled over 300 wins at the junior college level.
The veteran coach believes Brinson can help his team get back to their winning ways.
"His impact is going to be great. At crucial points, we lost six or seven games in the last minute because we didn't have that strong inside presence," Dawson said. "We think Ray will add that both offensively and defensively. He's the kind of kid in our league that will draw a double team.
"We don't bring a kid this big in to just sit around."
According to Dawson, Brinson is one of the tallest players he has brought into his program in a number of years.
Brinson averaged 8.4 rebounds, six points and 2.5 blocks per game in his senior campaign for the Cougars. He picked up a lot of steam during Goldsboro's solid Class 3-A Eastern Carolina Conference tournament run, averaging an eye-popping 17 rebounds to go with 13 points in three games.
The son of Clarence and Pamela, Brinson will take that punishing play down low to Lenoir and hopes to transfer to a Division I program after two years at the junior college program.
Goldsboro coach Randy Jordan saw Brinson make great strides since first seeing him on the floor as a sophomore.
"When I met him as a sophomore, he was a six-foot-six kind of uncoordinated kid," Jordan said. "Now, he's a six-foot-nine man who has learned to use his body on the basketball court to his advantage. It's been a real special time to work with him."
Brinson believes this and this got better for him in the past several years, but knows there are areas to his game that he still must improve.
"My jumper and post moves have improved, but my jumping ability and post moves still need to improve," Brinson said.
He also knows that education will play the most important factor in his ability to make the next step.
"One thing that attracted me to the program is education," he said. "I know I've got to have the grades to get to Division I."
A number of players have left the Lenoir program under Dawson and moved on to various four-year schools. Dawson has no doubt that Brinson could be included in that list in a year or two.
"One thing you can't coach is height and size, and I think he has the desire," Dawson said. "The thing we have to do now is put it all together and show what he's got."
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