07/29/11 — Worrells, Gross sign with Chesapeake

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Worrells, Gross sign with Chesapeake

By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on July 29, 2011 1:47 PM

Two close friends with one common passion, Southern Wayne graduates Delfawn Worrells and Bernard Gross have made their dream a reality.

The duo recently signed to play basketball this winter at Chesapeake (Md.) College. A two-year junior college in Wye Mills, Chesapeake has an enrollment of less than 4,000 students. The Skipjacks lost their final seven games last season and finished 10-16 overall.

Numerous Division II, Division III and JUCO schools sought Worrells. He received attention from Virginia Union, Methodist, Barton, Pitt Community College and Brunswick Community College before he ultimately settled upon Chesapeake's family atmosphere.

Worrells also liked the tight-knit camaraderie he witnessed among the team during his campus visit. The small-town feel also appealed to him.

"It's a very caring environment," said Worrells. "I felt like I fit in with the program. When I came back home it felt like I had a family there. The school is in a place that is kind of hard to locate and it's hard to get in trouble there or anything like that. I

"t will help me focus on school and academics."

Worrells and Gross were vital parts of a Saints team that finished 21-5, won the Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference regular-season and tournament championships, and advanced to the N.C. High School Athletic Association playoffs.

The chance to play with a longtime friend and former high school teammate is one Worrells relishes.

"It's really a blessing most friends don't go to the same college," said Worrells. "To be able to play with Bernard again is really an honor. He's a great competitor and a great player. I always want players around me who have great heart and who love the game because I love the game."

Worrells tore tendons in his left knee late in his freshman season. Through extensive rehab, valuable experience with the Wayne County Blazers AAU program and learning the game by watching from the bench while his knee healed, Worrells grew into a more complete player.

The Saints' second-leading scorer (11.2 points/game) this past winter, he also led the team in rebounds. He was the team captain and most valuable player, was selected the ECC player-of-the-year.

"What I saw from Delfawn, was he developed a good mid-range game," said Saints' head coach Russell Stephens. "He is very quick and we taught him to let his defense be his offense. He grew as a defender, he can run the floor and he played above the rim."

Gross led Southern Wayne in scoring at 12.6 points a game and made a team-high 40 3-pointers. He scored in double figures in 18 of the Saints' 26 games last season.

"Bernard was probably our best all-around player," said Stephens. "He shot the ball very well from the outside and he was kind of more a complete all-around player."