Saginaw ’13 Graduate Markell Bradshaw Commits To Claflin University

6 Apr

tn7pwrdkbhs3lzjrTwo years ago, Markell Bradshaw adamantly stated his desire was to play division one college basketball.  The then Saginaw High senior had reason to believe so.  He was a member of the Trojan ’12 state championship team, and starting point guard for the ’13 Class A final four team.

According to the NCAA, only 3.4% of all high school basketball players will continue their careers collegiate, and one percent in division one.

Markell had just one scholarship offer following high school, Livingstone College (NC).  Bradshaw had hopes of receiving quality playing time, unfortunately for Markell, he did not achieve his goal.  Markell did not suit for a single game.

“It was hard being under the radar in high school knowing you were good,” Bradshaw said.  “Then going to a D2 and sitting out was hard.  I chose to sit out, but it was still hard not playing and watching everyone you graduated with playing.”

Immediately following his freshman year of college, Markell returned home.  Just in time.

Delta Community College, located in nearby University Center, Michigan, had just hired a new coach, Kyle Blackburn.  Desperate for players, Coach Blackburn reached out to Markell and offered him a spot on the team.

Delta felt like home to Bradshaw.  Blackburn had recently hired Carlos McMath, a long coach of rival Saginaw Arthur Hill on the coaching staff, and Markell’s long-time friend and teammate Julian Henderson, Saginaw ’13, joined Delta after a year at a community college in Illinois.  Given the comfortable environment, Markell thrived.

Bradshaw doubled as the team’s leader in both points-per-game and assists, 15.8 and 4.6 respectively.  He gradually worked his way into the starting lineup as the season progressed, and guided the Pioneers to a 19-13 overall record, and NJCAA District 10 championship game.  Earning MCCAA Eastern first team, and All-Freshman first team honors along the way.

With his success on the court, and in the classroom (he was the salutatorian of his ’13 graduating class), Markell earned and accepted a scholarship with Claflin University in Orangeburg, South Carolina.

“I decided to go with Clafin due to how the coach (Ricky Jackson) recruited me,” said Bradshaw.  “He showed me a lot of love and we built a relationship, and I am able to walk right in and play.”

Bradshaw is confident as he begins classes at Claflin in the fall the school is the best personal fit for him.  He has grown and changed his perceptions on colleges during his two year journey.  He is thankful for the lessons it has taught him, and has a message for younger athletes who, once like him, were fixated on playing division one.

“Because a lot of them (high school players) go just because it’s D1 and never play.  I learned to go where the coach is going to show you the most love.”  “Guys from D2 get a chance at overseas and the NBA too.”

“If you ball, they will find you.”

Photo Credit: Delta College

Stats as of 2013-2014 NCAA survey.



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