Many athletes who got their starts in Liberty County still are racking up achievements, breaking records and advancing their sports careers. The Courier recently checked in on a few of the area’s top performers.
Former Bradwell Institute track jumper Josh McCullan, currently a long jumper at the University of Alabama, competed in his first NCAA Outdoor Championship meet Thursday, according to rolltide.com.
The Crimson Tide sophomore leaped 7.17 meter (23 feet, 6.5 inches) and finished in 10th place for Alabama.
McCullan entered the Outdoor Championship meet ranked 19th after leaping 24 feet, 9 inches at the NCAA East Regional in Jacksonville last month.
Former Liberty County linebacker and current Ohio State Buckeye freshman Raekwon McMillan was one of several Buckeye football players who took 30 seconds out of their busy schedules to make a difference in a child’s life, according to several news sources, including a story by Patrick Maks that was posted June 2 on elevenwarriors.com.
McMillan’s teammate, junior linebacker Joshua Perry, heard about a boy stricken with lymphoblastic leukemia. The child, 4-year-old Joshua Chambers, recently was receiving treatment in a hospital in Orlando, where his family lives.
Perry learned that Chambers’ dad, Jeremy, is an Ohio native and a Buckeyes fan, so he asked his teammates to tape videos on their cell phones wishing the boy a speedy recovery.
According to the elevenwarriors.com story, the messages started to appear on Chambers’ father’s phone. One by one, dad said, each message brightened his son’s day.
McMillan’s message to Joshua was, “Get well, Joshua. Be brave.”
Former Liberty County High School basketball player Jordan McRae continues to work out with various NBA teams ahead of the 2014 NBA draft, which is in two weeks. According to a Detroit Free Press story, McRae was one of two wings who worked out with the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday. McRae already has demonstrated his talents for the Chicago Bulls, Milwaukee Bucks, Toronto Raptors, Miami Heat, Detroit Pistons and the Philadelphia 76ers.
McRae’s former high school teammate, Rion Brown, also is hitting the NBA circuit ahead of the draft. The University of Miami graduate and guard also worked out with the Timberwolves and the Heat last week, according to tweets from his agent, Seth A. Cohen of Verus Management.
Former Bradwell Institute track standout Quintunya Chapman, now at UGA, competed in the heptathlon at the NCAA Outdoor Track championships last week. As of Friday afternoon, Chapman had finished in 11th place in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 13.96 seconds. She placed 21st in the high jump with a leap of 5 feet, 1.75 inches. She nabbed first-place finishes in shot put with a throw of 41 feet, 8.5 inches, and the 200-meter dash with a time of 24.26 seconds. Chapman was sitting near ninth place overall mid-competition.