Former Liberty County and St. James Coastal Crew Rebels basketball player Freddie McSwain committed to play as an Indiana Hoosier on Sunday, according to a report by the Indiana Daily Student.
According to the report, McSwain officially announced the decision at the Kansas community college he’s attended the past two years.
During his two seasons at LCHS, McSwain averaged 16.5 points and 12 rebounds per game. He didn’t start playing basketball until he was 14 years old.
McSwain earned a scholarship to Neosho County Community College.
Even then, McSwain had said Neosho would be a springboard to a Division I school.
Monday, he told Indianapolis Star reporters why he picked IU.
He said his visit to IU felt comfortable, and during his workout with the Hoosiers, it felt like he was already part of the team. McSwain added that Hoosier coach Tom Crean has a history of developing players.
“It’s a winning program,” he told reporters. “I just loved it.”
NCCC’s news release describes McSwain as a standout forward and one of the best and most athletic players in junior college basketball, who received more than 25 offers from NCAA Division I universities this year.
The NCCC sophomore played in 31 games this year, averaging 14 points and 8.4 rebounds per game.
In addition to playing for LCHS, McSwain was introduced to basketball with the St. James Coastal Crew Rebels under founder Ernie Walthour.
“Ernie would pick him up every day and take him to the gym, and he worked so hard,” Rebels coach David Linderman said, recalling how McSwain got his start.
“He worked out religiously since he started playing so late. Ernie told him that if he focused on his grades and the game, everything else would take care of itself. And Ernie kept telling him he would go D-I. He buckled down and worked on his grades…and now it has come to fruition with Indiana.”
Walthour didn’t get the chance to celebrate McSwain’s success. He was killed during an apparent armed robbery in July 2013.
Linderman said Wal-thour would have been proud.
“He is a true success story…he deserves all the recognition that he is going to get now,” Linderman said. “And it feels good to have one of our kids, a Coastal Crew Rebel, playing for basketball royalty. Indiana is like a blue blood of college basketball.”
McSwain played for three seasons with the Rebels, mostly as a reserve.
“It got to a point where we couldn’t afford to not have him on the floor, and everyone got to see the progression that he made and I think a lot of kids are inspired by the fact that he put in the work,” Linderman said. “He has rejuvenated a lot of the younger kids.”
Linderman added that there is likely more success for McSwain in the future.
“Anytime you have someone play at the D-I level, there is always that hope that there will be more basketball to follow, whether NBA or overseas,” he said.