Prep Notebook: McCallie's Jr. Clay commits to Tennessee Tech basketball program

Prep Notebook: McCallie's Jr. Clay commits to Tennessee Tech basketball program

October 5th, 2017 by Stephen Hargis and Kelley Smiddie in Sports - Preps

McCallie point guard Jr. Clay drives to the basket ahead of Baylor's Patrick Urey during a game this past January. Clay, who has started since his freshman year, will be a senior this season.

Photo by Doug Strickland /Times Free Press.

For as long as he can remember, Jr. Clay has dreamed of playing Division I college basketball.

McCallie's senior point guard will soon have that chance, having verbally committed to play for Tennessee Tech after a weekend visit there.

"It just felt like the right fit," Clay said. "I loved the community and the other players, so everything just felt right about being there. Other teams who've been recruiting me or texting or calling have said they wanted to wait and see before they made an offer, but Tech's coaches have made it clear they wanted me for a long time."

The 6-foot Clay has been a McCallie starter since his freshman year, helping the Blue Tornado win 76 games in three seasons. In 2016-17, he averaged 13.8 points, four assists and 2.5 steals while leading McCallie to the Division II state championship game. He scored 35 points in the semifinals.

McCallie's JR Clay avoids Calhoun's Ryan Randall on the way up in the King of the Courts tournament Monday night at Maclellan Gym.

McCallie's JR Clay avoids Calhoun's Ryan Randall on...

Photo by Tim Barber /Times Free Press.

"If we need him to carry us in scoring, he can do that, but Jr. can dominate a game without even scoring double figures," McCallie coach John Shulman said. "He played against four of the top point guards in America last year and held his own against all of them.

"I am so happy for Jr. and his entire family. This kid has worked extremely hard to earn this opportunity, and he'll have a chance to challenge for playing time as soon as he arrives there."


GHSA volleyball postseason begins

Some area tournament matches will take place today for local northwest Georgia prep volleyball teams. Among those involving Chattanooga-area programs are the GHSA's Area 6-AAAA, Area 6-AAA and Area 4-A tournaments.

The Area 6-AAAA tournament begins today with Heritage, LaFayette and Ridgeland hosting matches at 5:30 p.m. Top-seeded Northwest Whitfield has a bye. The tournament moves to Ridgeland on Saturday, with competition starting at 9 a.m. and the best-of-five final slated for 3:15 p.m.

Murray County and North Murray play today to see which advances to face top-seeded Ringgold in the Area 6-AAA tournament Saturday at North Murray. That match and the other semifinal between Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe and Coahulla Creek are set for 10 a.m., with the championship and third-place matches to follow at 11.

The Area 4-A tournament will be held at Mount Paran Christian School in Kennesaw. Christian Heritage plays Darlington and Gordon Lee plays Morris Innovative in opening-round matches at 5 p.m. today, and the winners play again at 6, with two losers-bracket matches scheduled at 7. The tournament will resume Saturday morning at 10, and the best-of-five championship match is scheduled for noon.