06/04/09 — Rob Phillips signs with South Alabama

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Rob Phillips signs with South Alabama

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on June 4, 2009 1:46 PM

Rob Phillips didn't give up on his dream.

Visions of playing Division I college basketball constantly danced in his head throughout his careers at Charles B. Aycock and Charis Prep.

Now, he'll dribble on the big stage.

Phillips recently signed a national letter-of-intent to play at perennial Sun Belt Conference power South Alabama. The 6-foot-2, 185-pounder considered Fordham, UC Riverside and Stanford before settling on the Jaguars.

"I sent them a tape with a couple of games," said Phillips. "They were interested, called back and said they'd like to come see me play. As soon as they offered me (a scholarship), it was late and I didn't want to wait around.

"That was one of the happiest days of my life. I had been working so hard and playing Division I basketball was my dream."

Phillips averaged 23.1 points and shot 57 percent from behind the 3-point arc for Charis Prep last season. He knocked down 92 percent of his free throws and earned fourth-team, prep school All-American honors from USPrepBasketball.com.

Phillips earned Most Valuable Player honors as Charis Prep claimed its second consecutive National Prep School championship. The Crimson Tide concluded the year 40-5 overall.

Jaguars head coach Ronnie Arrow signed six players in the offseason. He announced earlier this week that sophomore DeAndrae Rose and freshman C.J. Garner will leave the program. Each has decided to transfer to another school.

Arrow likes Phillips' work ethic and leadership ability.

"It's easy to see how Rob has had such a successful prep career," said Arrow in a statement released on the school's athletics Webpage. "He's been able to develop his skills at Charis, one of the top prep schools in the country, and what we will be getting is a very mature individual who can shoot the '3' and run the team.

"He is a very versatlie player who can play several positions. We look forward to him coming in and being a leader on this team."

Phillips completed his college prepatory studies at Wayne Community College and hopes to enroll as a sophomore academically. He will be a freshman athletically and will be challenged on a daily basis to improve his game.

"I have to get bigger, faster and work harder," said Phillips. "I have to raise my own bar every day and step up my game in every aspect. I know it's going to be hard. I really like the head caoch ... made me feel like a part of the team before I even signed."

South Alabama finished 20-13 last season and lost to Western Kentucky in the Sun Belt tournament final. Arrow's teams have won 20 or more games in each of the last four seasons and made three appearances in the NCAA postseason.