By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Tech men's basketball team added another key cog to its 2018 signing class, with the inking of incoming freshman forward Garrett Golday as part of the early signing period.
A 6-foot-7 forward from Arlington, Tenn., Golday has shown a combination of post skills and mid-range shooting that should play well in the Golden Eagle lineup for years to come.
"I chose Tennessee Tech because it is a beautiful school with great educational opportunities," Golday said. "It's also a place I could play basketball under good coaches like Coach [Steve] Payne and Coach [Jason] Taylor."
"Garrett was a guy that we noticed right away," Payne said. "His body, his athleticism and his toughness are all pluses. He continues to improve his skill with the ability to run, jump, and be physical. His competitive spirit is tremendous. He knows how to play with and against really good athletes, and he has proven that over and over again."
Golday boasted a highly productive junior campaign while leading Arlington High School to a District 14-AAA regular seaon title, averaging a double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds per game. He also rejected an average of five shots per game while adding in a steal and assist per game. He earned a play on the Class-AAA All-Metro Team as well as a spot on the Tennessee Prep Hoops Region 7-AAA All-Region Team.
"Playing in the Memphis high school prep level and surrounding area has really hardened and prepared Garrett for Division I basketball," Payne explained. "He has played with tremendous AAU programs, as well as for a great high school coach in Don Deaton, who has had great success at Arlington."
Having the ability to step out of the post on offense will be helpful, but the Tech signee's defensive prowess will also be something to keep an eye on. Either way, Golday is ready to do whatever it takes to contribute.
"I want to be a guy that is willing to do anything for the team," Golday explained. "If I need to be a shutdown defender or shooter or a passer – I'll do it all if my team needs it or the coaching staff asks me to do it."
Tech's renowned engineering department played a crucial role in Golday's decision, but the relationship between his parents and Payne also were a factor. Both of his parents played basketball at Union University in Jackson, Tenn. while Payne was serving as a graduate assistant coach.
"Garrett's family and I go way back," Payne said. "Coach [Jason] Taylor did a great job recruiting him and he is a great fit for Tennessee Tech. He wants to go into engineering and he is a more-than capable Division I basketball player. We are excited about him not only as person and an athlete, but as a student as well. He will be a tremendous representative of our program."
"I'm really excited about the college experience," Golday added. "I'm a little nervous about being away from my family, but I shouldn't have to worry too much because I'm gaining a second family in my team. Overall, I'm just very excited to be a Golden Eagle and I can't wait to be there this coming summer."
Photo by Thomas Corhern, TTU Sports Information