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Stallworth takes skills to next level

Standout Georgiana guard Ja’Michael Stallworth signed with the Bay Minette branch of Coastal Alabama Community College on Wednesday.

The entire school body gathered alongside Stallworth’s family to watch the senior hold up the Sun Chiefs jersey he will soon be wearing on the court.

Stallworth has, for the last few seasons, been an invaluable, star player for the Georgiana basketball and football teams.

“He has been a tremendous asset,” said Georgiana head basketball coach Kirk Norris. “Some of the things he can do, I think it will be multiple guys that will have to pick up the slack… he’s averaging 23, 24 points a game this year; it’s unbelievable.”

Norris has been coaching Stallworth for six years, giving him a unique perspective on how the player has developed his natural talent and stepped into a leadership role.

“He’s been fun to watch, and he’s always loved basketball,” said Norris, “and to get that chance, to go to the next level, that doesn’t happen much… it has been exciting and fun to watch him grow.”

Stallworth said that the quality of the program and the “great coaching staff” led him to signing with Coastal. [Playing college basketball] has been my dream, ever since junior high,” said Stallworth, adding that his focus is on “getting better, and improving my defense” at the college level.

In his four-year varsity career with Georgiana, Stallworth has earned an impressive number of individual achievements including 1,441 (current) career points and seven 30-point games.

As a senior, he is averaging 23 points per game, along with 4.5 assists and 5 rebounds. Stallworth played a central role in Georgiana’s two consecutive appearances in the Final Four and three Area Championships.

Coastal Alabama Community College head basketball coach Robby Robertson said that Stallworth possesses the two most important qualities his school looks for in its recruits: great character, and talent.

“Character is what stands out… the first time we met him, he just had a giant smile on his face,” said Robertson, “and he’s just a super young man, great parents, great support system, coming out of a great program here in Georgiana and, on top of that, is a great player.” Coastal Alabama has recruited a string of players from Georgiana’s basketball program, most recently Nizaiah Smith in 2017.

Stallworth is currently looking to lead Georgiana to their third straight Final Four appearance this year. Georgiana’s next home game is on Jan. 19th against W.S. Neal.