By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Tech men's basketball team made one more addition to its 2018 recruiting class, signing incoming freshman point guard Jr. Clay as part of the early signing period.
A 6-foot point guard from Chattanooga, Tenn., Clay has demonstrated an incredible ability to make things happen on the court while at McCallie High School, claiming multiple All-State and All-Region honors along the way.
"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."
"The way Jr. is coached, and the way he plays, we were very impressed when recruiting him," head coach Steve Payne explained. "We got to watch a little of his AAU team as well. Nothing told us he was anything but capable of being a really good point guard and leader at this level. He has tremendous speed – he will have to get stronger, but he is a great competitive player with outstanding leadership ability and we are just really excited about where he is going."
Clay turned in a highly impressive and decorated junior campaign, leading the Blue Tornado to a program-record 27 wins and an appearance in the state championship game. The skilled guard dropped 35 points on 10-of-12 shooting in McCallie's semifinal victory over Montgomery Bell Academy.
"Tennessee Tech is getting a winner," McCallie head coach John Shulman exclaimed. "Jr. Clay can past it, shoot it, score it and defend, but his best skill is finding a way to win. He has led McCallie to 76 wins in three years while setting several records and playing against the best point guards in America."
"Jr. was another guy that caught our eye at one of our Golden Eagle camps," head coach Steve Payne said. "To be honest I am really appreciative of Coach Shulman, who obviously has Tennessee Tech history. John has been a very successful Division I head coach and a successful high school coach, and he just does a tremendous job getting those guys ready. He really told us right off the bat 'this is a guy you can't miss', and we're grateful for that."
Averaging 13.8 points, 4.0 assists and 2.5 steals per game last season, Clay was named a finalist for the TSSAA Division II-AA Mr. Basketball Award. He was named the MVP of the Chattanooga Times Free Press Best of Preps Tournament and selected to the Arby's Classic All-Tournament Team.
"I plan on coming in and simply helping the team win games," Clay said. "I want to make sure everyone knows where Tennessee Tech is by winning and helping put the team on the map."
"I'm really looking forward to playing on the Division I level," Clay explained. "I want to see where I fit in as a freshman and I'm just excited and ready for the college experience as a whole."
"He is as good of a young man as he is a player," Shulman added. "He will make Tennessee Tech proud and represent the University and the Tech program in an incredible way. As a former assistant at Tech, I cannot wait to watch him lead the Golden Eagles to great wins and multiple championships."
Photo by Thomas Corhern, TTU Sports Information