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Men's basketball: JC guard headed to UNT

Profile image for By Brett Vito / Staff Writer
By Brett Vito / Staff Writer

Carrington Ward spent a lot of time the last few months determining where he would wrap up his junior college career.

North Texas’ coaches were there every step of the way and reaped the benefits of that dedication late Sunday night, when the 6-foot-2 guard committed to play the final two years of his college career with the Mean Green.

Ward visited UNT over the weekend and signed just days before the closing of the early signing period on Wednesday. UNT officially announced that Ward had joined the Mean Green’s class late Monday afternoon.

“The coaching staff was what I liked the most about North Texas,” Ward said. “They showed that they care about me.”

Ward is averaging 21.0 points a game for San Jacinto College in Pasadena. The Philadelphia native began his college career at Palm Beach State, where he averaged 13.0 points a game while earning first-team All-Southern Conference honors last season. Ward shot 47.6 percent (50-for-105) from 3-point range, which ranked eighth nationally among junior college players.

“Carrington is a scoring wing that is one of the best 3-point shooters in the country,” UNT head coach Tony Benford said in a prepared statement. “With us losing three quality guards in Brandan Walton, Alzee Williams and Vertrail Vaughns after the season, we felt like we needed to bring in some immediate help. Carrington fits the bill perfectly because he’s a tough, character kid that fits the style of basketball we like to play.”

UNT’s coaching staff began recruiting Ward during his freshman year at Palm Beach State. Ward found out late in the season that he did not meet NCAA eligibility requirements at the end of his high school career at Philadelphia Electrical and Technology Charter School.

As a non-qualifier, Ward must complete his two-year degree to transfer to a Division I school.

When Palm Beach head coach Butch Estes left to take over at Barry University after last season, Ward decided to transfer and complete his two-year degree at San Jac.

“The coaches stuck with me the whole time,” Ward said of UNT’s staff that followed him on his journey to Florida to Texas. “That loyalty made a difference.”

Ward will complete his degree this spring and transfer to UNT in the summer when he will join a class that also includes Dallas Carter forward Jeremy Combs and Tyler Junior College guard DeAndre Harris.

“I’m excited,” Ward said. “The coaches at North Texas said I could be a main scoring option.”

BRETT VITO can be reached at 940-566-6870 or via Twitter at @brettvito.