There are many facts about Bryan County High School basketball player Willie Deloach that garner him being our February Bryan County Athlete of the Month.
There’s the fact that he single-handedly accumulated 209 points this past season which is an average of nine points per game. There’s the fact that he is as committed to the text books as he is to athletics.
But the thing that stands out the most about Deloach is the fact that he is just getting warmed up. Deloach is merely a freshman and, if he continues on the path he is on, he has a very bright future for his remaining years at BCHS in both the classroom and in the multiple sports that he participates in: basketball, football and track.
"I feel really good about this award," said Deloach. "Most awards like this go out to seniors, so I’m really honored."
All the signs were there before Deloach entered BCHS. His last year at Bryan County Middle School he was awarded "Future Basketball Star" in addition to Most Improved for basketball. That same year, he took home MVP awards for both basketball and football.
"He’s the kind of athlete you dream about getting to coach," said BCHS head basketball coach Keith Bazemore. "He’s quick, he gives 100 percent in every game situation, and he’s got instinct – instinct that seniors and even college players don’t have."
Bazemore gave the example of numerous times during game play where Deloach would be standing a few feet from an opposing player who was in the midst of passing the ball and "he’d jump up and grab it out of their hands. There aren’t too many players that can do that from that close of a distance."
"I happen to have him in the class room (biology) right now, and he’s a good student as well," Bazemore continued. "Everybody loves him – from seniors to freshman to people he left behind in middle school. They idolize him because he’s such a good person – and I wouldn’t say that about everybody. He’s going to be something really special."
With basketball season now over, Deloach is currently on the BCHS track team where he is doing very well. The head coach for track is Blake Nesmith.
"Willie is a pleasure to coach," said Nesmith. "Beyond having a lot of ability, he’s very respectful and well-mannered, he works hard, and he comes to practice everyday. The potential for Willie as an athlete is boundless. To have the ability and instincts that he has at such a young age is rare."
"Willie Deloach is an exceptional young man and a future leader in our school," said BCHS Athletic Director and head football coach Ron Lewis. "He does exactly what is asked of him in the classroom and on the playing field. I feel confident Willie will be a success in every endeavor in life."
"If he takes athletics and academics seriously for the next three years, he has a chance to receive a free college education," Coach Bazemore added. "I expect that to happen with his attitude."
Deloach appears to be on a path to glory, and he has high aspirations for his future.
"I plan on playing in college while furthering my education," said Deloach. "I want to find a college that at least borders Georgia as I want to stay close to my family. I hope to make it into the NBA or NFL."