Bradwell Institute basketball player Reasha Stokes signed a letter of intent Friday to play hoops at East Georgia State College.
Stokes averaged 12.4 points and 5.9 rebounds per game this season and was considered by coach Rhett Hellgren a team leader.
Stokes had a breakout season as a senior, scoring 4 double doubles. Hellgren had said that was big, considering Stokes’ 5’-11” height.
“I am very proud of Reasha. He is more than just a basketball player to me. He is like family,” Hellgren said. “He is working hard, and I am very proud of what he has done.”
BI Athletic Director Ken Griffin spoke to Stokes’ friends and family at the signing ceremony.
“I want to take this time to thank Reasha for all the things he has done here for Bradwell Institute’s basketball team,” Griffin said before introducing East Georgia coach Leroy Jordan.
He said Bobcats’ basketball was still young going into its sixth season, but it has already earned a conference championship and built the team with players recruited primarily from Liberty County.
“The first thing we saw was that he was a student first and an athlete second, and that is who we want to recruit,” Jordan said of Stokes. “We want to know they love the game of basketball, but most of all be a student first, and we saw that in Reasha. He is a dedicated and respectable kid and will do well to represent East Georgia College... God blessed him with talent so now we will take his talent and we will make him use it to get his education.”
Stokes said he will study sports medicine or kinesiology. He said he spoke with several friends at EGC.
“And they all said East Georgia is the best school to go to because they will work you hard so you can succeed and make it to the next level,” Stokes said.
There to congratulate Stokes was his friend and long-time mentor Jamar White.
White said he met Stokes when the young man was in seventh grade and played with the AAU South Georgia Kings.
“I was immediately drawn to his talents and I’ve been working with him since,” he said. “He is very strong and very aggressive on the drive and a good shooter on the dribble. He is coachable and that takes you a long way.”
Stokes’ uncle, Matthew Johnson, who is his father figure, proudly sat next to Stokes during the signing ceremony and said it was a special day and one that Stokes truly deserves.
Knowing Stokes will soon leave the house he offered advice: “Keep God first in your life and basketball and everything else second.”
Stokes’ mother DeAnna Johnson said being a single mother has been a struggle, but that the family worked through tough times.
“This is exciting... It means a great deal to the family,” she said. “All the hard work he put in with the help of his family and his siblings, it’s a great day… Yes he is leaving me, but to see where he is now I am so proud.”
The Tigers were 16-13 overall and 10-4 in the region this season. In the postseason, Bradwell went 2-1 in the region tourney to claim third place and made it to the first round of state.