A redshirt freshman who saw no action on the court during the 2018-19 school year due, Drelon Pittman had just a year to prove himself on the hardwood at Southwest Mississippi Community College.
And the Gulfport native did just that, will solid averages across the board.
Now he will get the chance to do the same at a four-year school after signing a scholarship with the William Carey Crusaders.
“Now that I know where I am going to be, I am really just focused on doing my thing, and being the best that I can be,” Pittman said.
He chose to sign at William Carey over offers from other schools, including Jarvis Christian College and Mississippi College.
One of the main factors that led to Pittman choosing the Crusaders was the proximity to home.
“I wanted to be closer to home and let my momma still be able to come see me,” he said.
And with it being about an hour’s drive away from his hometown, Pittman said that he has been to the William Carey campus before adding he is very familiar with it.
During the last year, Pittman averaged 5.5 points, 1.6 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game for the Bears.
He did so playing mostly as a shooting guard or small forward in Coach Bryan Bender’s system but he could play anywhere from point guard to power forward.
Bender describes Pittman as the “jack of all trades” due to his versatility to adapt to most of the positions on the floor.
“He’s one of those kids who is kind of a ‘tweener,’ ” Bender said. “He could play the one, the two, the three or the four. And he found his way on the floor basically through hustle and hard work. He made plays that you don’t necessarily see in a stat sheet like forcing turnovers and the emotion, playing with passion. He is just a good Mississippi kid with a good GPA. I’m happy that he was able to find a home like William Carey where he will be close to home.”
Pittman, who wants to study kinesiology, said academics also played an important factor in his decision.
“That is the first thing that they look at, that is the first thing that they ask you when they recruit you,” he said. “They want to see your GPA. Anybody can play but if you have good grades, too.”
And despite not playing his first year in Summit, sitting out with a redshirt, he is very thankful of the path that he was on because it helped shape who he is today.
“The last two years, it was really like a roller coaster, but I wouldn’t want to change it for anything,” he said.
“In that first year, I was working so hard, thinking that I was going to play. But then Coach Bender redshirted me. At first I was really mad but once we sat down and realized why, it really helped me in a sense. It was a misconception and he said, ‘Just trust me and I will get you to a four-year school,’ and he did.”