Effingham County High School

Wilkenson gets his shot at college

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April 20, 2016

By Patrick Donahue

One of the area’s best shooters will be taking his shot at college basketball next fall. Effingham County High School senior Deshaun Wilkerson, the Region 3-AAAAA basketball player of the year, signed a letter of intent Tuesday morning with Columbia State College, a two-year school in Tennessee. “Deshaun is a special player we’re definitely going to miss, said Rebels coach Jake Darling. “He can do a little bit of everything. He’s a special player who is going to go on to bigger and better things. As a senior, Wilkenson averaged 17.1 points per game, along with 4.7 rebounds, 2.6 assists and two steals a contest. Wilkenson shot 47 percent from the field and was a 39 percent shooter from 3-point range, hitting 51 of 132 attempts. Despite his long-range shooting prowess, the 6-foot-4 Wilkenson prefers dunking. Tuesday’s signing also takes a lot off his mind. “It means a lot, he said. “High school went by fast. Wilkenson had a career-high 37 points in the 2015-16 season opener against Butler. As a junior, Wilkenson averaged 11.7 points per game, hitting 42 of 142 3-point shots, and he got in 30 games as a sophomore, scoring at a clip of 6 points per game. Darling started coaching at ECHS in Wilkenson’s freshman year, and he coached Wilkenson on the junior varsity and varsity teams. “I’ve had him all four years, Darling said. “He started out as little skinny kid and ended as a tall skinny kid. But he doesn’t get pushed around. He’s added things to his game that have made him a college basketball player. He’s been a pleasure to coach. By his own judgment, Wilkenson believes he has room to grow as a player. “I think I can get even better defensively, he said, “but I’ve progressed a lot. Wilkenson visited Columbia State last weekend and enjoyed his trip. Darling believes a Division I school will be calling for his protégé soon. “Somebody’s getting a steal, the coach said. Darling said Wilkenson’s region player of the year honor, voted on by the coaches, exemplifies what others think of him. “That shows how special he is, Darling said. “He’s well-respected around the region.

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