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Rebels player signs with Division I Bethune-Cookman
In Picture from Left to Right Ernie Walthour(AAU Coastal Crew Rebels coach and mentor), (standing) First Presbyterian Day School coach Michael Brooker, Mike White and James Smith (mentor from Macon). Hanging in the background is White’s old Vikings jersey (#32) and his new BCU hat is on the table. - photo by Photo provided / Coastal Courier
Ernie Walthour takes pride in his Coastal Crew Rebels teams. He and the other Rebels’ coaches work to make sure the kids are ready for school and ready for play.
On Thursday, Walthour saw the Rebels are doing things right. Michael White, a Rebels player, signed a full athletic scholarship at Division I Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach.
“Michael came to the Rebels program three years ago and has worked extremely hard,” Walthour said. “He kept his grades up and he had several options to play in college and we were extremely excited that we were able to have someone like Michael play for the Rebels here at St. James Sports Center. He excelled in the classroom first and the courts second.”
White has been a role model for other players, Walthour said.
“We are all very proud and I want to thank all the coaches who have worked with Michael. And thank you for Osteen and Osteen and M&M Motors who made our trips to Daytona to visit the campus and coaches possible.”
White finished high school at First Presbyterian Day School in Macon and helped its Vikings with an average of 22 points, 14 rebounds, three blocks and two steals per game. That led him to being an All-Region First Team member, as well as an All-State First Team selection.
White played in the Georgia vs. South Carolina All-Star game where he started and scored 18 points and grabbed down 10 rebounds. He was an All-Middle Georgia (GISA) First team recipient, and an All-Middle Georgia First team selection.
“This is a kid that is not only great on the court, but he’s a star in the classroom as well,” Bethune-Cookman basketball coach Clifford Reed said. “He carries a 3.4 gpa and is an honor roll student-athlete for First Presbyterian. This is a kid that is good for the future of our program in so many ways, and we are just excited to have him wear Maroon and Gold next year as a Wildcat.”
White said he was thrilled to play for Bethune-Cookman.
“It means a lot to me,” he said. “It was the best situation for me and I’m just really excited right now. I plan to go in there and work hard. I’m going to work hard in school. My education comes first and I plan to study criminal justice and get my degree. I want to go to law school and become a lawyer. I love helping people and it’s in my nature to do so.”
White said he knew Bethune-Cookman was interested in him after one of its coaches left a message on his voicemail, asking him to give them a call.
“They had heard a lot of good things about me and then the head coach watched me play and liked what he saw,” White said. “The next thing you know I was signing a full athletic scholarship at a Division I school. It’s crazy and I’m extremely excited.”
The fact that the university is only three hours away, in Daytona Beach will give his fans an opportunity to see him play.
“We’ll be keeping in contact with him in Daytona and the coach gave me tickets to his home games and I will be going down there and doing everything I can to support Michael in his academics and basketball,” Walthour said.   
“I still have a lot of my family in Hinesville. That’s where I started playing in high school, before coming to First Presbyterian Day School,” White said. “So being only three hours away makes it possible for them to come and see me. I know Ernie plans to come and watch. The environment I’m going into is very nice and there is nothing more I could ask for.”
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