Saturday, 01 May 2021 13:08

Trio of Richmond basketball players sign to play college ball

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Senior Davionna Campebell smiles as she holds up her signed letter of commitment to Johnston Community College. Senior Davionna Campebell smiles as she holds up her signed letter of commitment to Johnston Community College. Photo courtesy of RSHS.

ROCKINGHAM — It was a big day for the Richmond Senior High School basketball programs on Friday, as three players signed letters of commitment to play at the college level.

Senior Patrick McLaughlin, a three-year varsity point guard for the Raiders, signed with Pitt Community College. 

For the Lady Raiders’, seniors Davionna Campbell and Asia Douglas will continue to play as teammates at Johnston Community College.

The two separate signing ceremonies were held in Richmond’s media center, as teammates, coaches, friends and family members celebrated the trio of players.

Senior PG Patrick McLaughlin (right) with Richmond head coach Donald Pettigrew and PCC’s head coach Darrick Mullins. (Photo courtesy of RSHS)

McLaughlin, who is coming off a tough senior year riddled with injury and the loss of two young people close to him, said joining the Bulldogs is a fulfilment of a lifelong dream.

“It’s a great feeling signing,” McLaughlin said. “As a kid, all I wanted to do was get to the next level and play college ball. To be able to do this is a blessing.

“There were a lot of emotions,” he added. “I’m excited to get started, and it’s a good feeling to see all the people there to support me and to have them cheer me on throughout my Raider career.”

During his senior season, which saw the Raiders go 8-5 and make the second round of the playoffs, McLaughlin battled through a left shoulder injury. He had surgery on his torn labrum on March 16, just after the season ended, and is scheduled to finish physical therapy at the end of this month.

He said that PCC’s head coach Darrick Mullins offered him following the Raiders’ 72-60 win over Seventy-First High School on Feb. 9. On the year, McLaughlin 9.2 points, 4.3 assists and 1.7 steals per game.

“Coach Mullins offered me even with a hurt shoulder and that showed his trust in my ability,” McLaughlin said. “I think playing through the injury shows that I can still play at a high pace and that I’m a hard worker who is dedicated to the game.”

McLaughin became the third Raider basketball player to join the Bulldogs in recent years, who play in Region 10 of the National Junior College Athletic Association. Two years ago, former teammates Xavier Pettigrew and Alex Quick signed with PCC.

“I’m so proud of him,” head coach Donald Pettigrew said. “From where he came from as a sophomore off the bench to how hard he worked his last two years, he was determined the last three years to make this happen.

“P.J. had a lot of obstacles with losing his sister and a teammate, and his injury,” he added. “It would have been easy to quit, but he never did. It says a lot about his character as a player. As a program, we’re trying to get our guys ready for college.”

Pettigrew said that McLaughin will take “leadership, toughness and a high IQ of the game” to the Bulldogs, who did not play this past year because of COVID-19. The head coach also noted McLaughin is like “having another coach on the floor.”

“This was a special moment for my family, and my parents are my biggest supporters,” McLaughlin said. “They never miss a game, so when they couldn't come to games this year because of COVID, it killed them. But I know they were cheering in the house.

“I really want to have a big impact on the team and bring my leadership skills,” he closed. “I want to thank all of my coaches who instilled those qualities in me. I hope to work for a spot and continue to enjoy playing the game.”

Senior forward Asia Douglas signs her letter of commitment during Friday’s signing day. (Photo courtesy of RSHS)

Later in the afternoon, Campbell and Douglas inked their letters of commitment to join the JCC Jaguars, a program that also competes in Region 10 of the NJCAA.

Campbell, a center, and Douglas, a forward, were both two-year varsity players for the Lady Raiders and head coach Teddy Moseley. They have been a part of a program that has continued to improve its overall record and conference standings the last handful of years.

Moseley said he was proud of both players signing, and added that Campbell and Douglas’ hard work is helping fuel a successful future for the Lady Raiders.

“Having Davionna and Asia sign to play basketball at the next level is huge for our program,” Moseley said. “You see Raider athletes sign from other sports year in and year out, which is a very good thing. 

“However, to have two girls sign for women’s basketball gives our current players reason to be excited due to the fact that it shows them that they can do the same thing,” he added. “Not only those players, but those players that will become Lady Raiders and have goals of playing at the next level.” 

Campbell, known for her defensive presence, challenged opposing offenses this season. The Lady Raiders held opponents to 45.8 points per game this season, while finishing 7-5 overall and fifth in the standings. On offense, Campbell averaged 2.9 points per game. 

“My feelings were everywhere,” Campbell explained of her signing. “I’m excited to start my new life the next two years, but I’m also kind of anxious. It’ll be hard leaving my teammates going to a new environment.

“I wanted to keep playing basketball and Johnston offered me, so I’m grateful to play,” she added. “I hope to bring strong paint defense and aggressiveness, and I think I’ll be a good teammate who is hardworking.”

There to help Campbell adjust to college play will be Douglas, who played significant minutes for the Lady Raiders during her senior season. She also averaged 2.9 points per game and was helpful on both ends of the floor for Richmond.

“I’m also excited and nervous, but I’m really relieved to be getting to play in college,” Douglas said. “This is a very humbling experience that I’m thankful for.

“It’ll be cool to still be teammates with Davionns, we’ve known each other a long time,” she added. “We have really good chemistry on the court, and I’m looking to better myself as a player and a person in college.”

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Last modified on Sunday, 02 May 2021 11:00
Kyle Pillar

Nine-time N.C. Press Association award-winning sports editor. Indiana University of Pennsylvania communications media and journalism alumni. English teacher, Ninth Grade Academy.

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