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BHS hoops trio sign
Parker likes Wofford, Simpson off to FAU, Jenkins picks Belmont


Bearden High School gave an official goodbye of sorts to three of its varsity basketball players that, as a group, combined size and talent perhaps unmatched in BHS program history.

All-state honorees Demonte Simpson, 6-foot-9, 270-pound senior post; Nathan Parker, 6-foot-6 senior post and Blake Jenkins, 6-foot-7 guard, all made their Division I college basketball choices official last week.

Three National Letters of Intent were signed during a joint ceremony in the BHS East Mall Monday, April 20.

Simpson, All-state as a junior and a three-time District 4-AAA honoree with 72 blocked shots this past season, is headed to Florida Atlantic, Boca Raton, Fla.; Parker, an All-state honoree in 2009 and two-time district honoree, signed with Wofford (S.C.) of the Southern Conference.


Jenkins, an All-state guard in 2009 and a two-time 4-AAA honoree, signed with Belmont University, Nashville.

“Three outstanding players,” BHS head coach Mark Blevins said. “First of all, Nate’s athleticism will give him a chance to play right off the bat. … He’ll have a great experience in that league. … They recruited him hard over the last year. He’ll probably play power forward, that’s his natural position.”

About Jenkins at Belmont, Blevins said, “A good place to play … don’t know how much time he’ll get early. He’s still got to work on his skills. If he works hard he will play early. What a great athlete. He’s going to play the wing.”

Blevins labeled Simpson “just an unbelievable player, great career for us. Couldn’t ask anything more. But bigger and better things are waiting for him.”

Simpson said about FAU, “I went down on a visit on Easter weekend and I felt like it was the right place to be. The atmosphere was great. … I’ll play both the power forward and [center].”

Simpson, 18, said he will major in sports management.

Jenkins said about choosing Belmont in early April, “coach [Rick] Berry, he’s an honest man. I can trust him. I just felt comfortable with his style of play. And his character, he’s a straight-forward type of person.”

Son of former Tennessee Volunteers standout guard Fred Jenkins from the mid-1980s, Blake Jenkins said his father “has given me good advice. … He said, ‘you’ve got to manage your time well.’”

Jenkins, 17, said he probably would choose a business-related major.

Parker said about Wofford, “I like coach Young, I like the players, I like the conference, really. You get to play against former Bearden standout Tony White [Jr., standout guard at College of Charleston]. … It’s going to be real tough, it won’t be easy. It’s a real tough conference.”

Parker, 18, said he’ll major in business management.

 

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