11/10/06 — Goldsboro's Joyner signs with East Carolina

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Goldsboro's Joyner signs with East Carolina

By Rob Craig
Published in Sports on November 10, 2006 1:47 PM

Millions of kids across the country dream of playing college hoops. They dream of coaches from top college programs swooning over them and begging them to come play for their school.

For Goldsboro High senior Daquan Joyner, he's just glad his phone -- not to mention his mom's and coach's -- will stop ringing off the hook.

Joyner, a 6-foot-7, 207-pound forward, signed with East Carolina on Thursday afternoon as his mom, principal, coaches and teammates watched.

He penned his name to the dotted line, then leaned back and smiled with relief.

No more recruiting calls.

"It was frustrating," Joyner said of the recruiting process. "A whole lot of colleges wanted me. They were calling my house, my cell phone, my mom and it got to be kind of frustrating. I wasn't really ready for it."

Joyner chose East Carolina from an impressive list of schools which included Wake Forest, Clemson, George Mason, Tennessee, South Carolina, and UNC-Wilmington.

His next stop will be a short drive for his family and friends up Highway 13.

Goldsboro head coach Randy Jordan believes Joyner will have a bright future with the Pirates.

"It was the best fit," Jordan said. "Coach (Ricky) Stokes and his staff really cared about him and showed the interest."

The attention East Carolina coaches paid to Joyner was the biggest factor in his decision to sign with the Pirates.

"They called my house and came to the school," Joyner said. "They checked on my grades, my test scores and they showed a lot of love for me. Then, when I went down there for a visit, I just fell in love with the school, the places on campus and the people on campus like the coaches and students."

Joyner, an athletic scorer who averaged 18.1 points, 12.2 rebounds and 4.4 blocks per contest, has a game that allows him to play both inside and outside.

"It's one of the things that every school that recruited him really liked was that he can post people up and take them outside," Jordan said. "He's very athletic, runs the floor well, for a big man, and shoots the ball well."

Joyner never even envisioned playing division one college basketball when he was younger. Instead, his athletics were limited to the diamond instead of the hardwood.

"I was a baseball player when I was younger," Joyner said. "I really never thought about playing basketball until I arrived at Goldsboro during my fifth grade year."

Jordan believes the impact of Joyner's accomplishment will be a positive one for all involved.

"It's good for the school, it's good for the program and it's good for the community," Jordan said. "Daquan's a product of Goldsboro High School. He represents us very well on and off the floor. He's been a joy to coach."

Goldsboro High principal Patricia Burden agreed with Jordan.

"I think it's very good for Daquan," she said. "He won't be far from home. He's a good kid and we want to see everything work out for him."

With hard work, in the weight room and the gym, Jordan envisions Joyner as a player who can contribute right away at ECU.

"He's only scratched his potential. Over the next four years you're going to see a different Daquan Joyner."

When Joyner does arrive at ECU next fall, he plans on majoring in business-administration.

Now that the phone calls, text messages, e-mails and visits have come to an end, Joyner can now focus on his academics at Goldsboro and the upcoming basketball season.

"This year I really want to lead the team to a state championship, become a good leader and a role model," he said.