That 2014 class now has four players off to play college basketball as starters A.J. Mosby and Hakeem Winters each signed to play for Chattahoochee Technical College Thursday at the J.H. Morgan gym.
“It’s a great day to be a Purple Hurricane today,” Cartersville head coach Mike Tobin said. “To have four guys that have a chance to play college ball, that’s incredible. It’s tough in high school to have one guy, let alone four, so that’s pretty sweet.”
Mosby and Winters were each key contributors to the team that reached the 2014 Class AAA state quarterfinals. Mosby, a 6-foot, 2 1/2-inch tall guard, averaged 15.3 points, 4.6 assists, 4.7 rebounds and three steals per game while shooting 57 percent from the field.
Mosby put forth some of his best performances during Cartersville’s run to the quarterfinals as he averaged 22 points per game in his team’s first four playoff contests.
“A.J. had a great career. Some of those playoff games, he was just incredible,” Tobin said. “He was smooth. He had that nice shot, lefty, great passer. He could stop on a dime and have that soft shot. He just had that nice soft touch. He was tough to guard.”
Mosby also contributed as a defender, often harassing the opponent’s ballhandler on the perimeter.
“He did a great job for us on defense. He came a long way in two years,” Tobin said. “The first two years, I got on him hard about defense because I knew he could be an outstanding defensive player. In fact, I had a few [college] coaches calling about him and what they liked most about him was his defense. Belhaven and Jackson really liked him a lot for his defense.”
Belhaven University and Jackson Community College, along with Emmanuel College and Wallace State Community College, were among the schools that recruited Mosby.
“I chose Chatt Tech because it was close to home,” Mosby said. “I want to get my two-year degree, transfer to a bigger college, hopefully D-I, and major in criminal justice. I want to follow my dad’s footsteps. My dad’s a police officer.”
Chattahoochee Tech head basketball coach David Archer said he likes Mosby’s potential as a combo guard. Archer believes Mosby can help the Chatt Tech program, which has gone 53-11 the last two seasons, finishing second in the GCAA regular season both years. The Golden Eagles were runner-ups in the 2014 NJCAA Region XVII and District 13, as well as finishing ranked 14th in the national polls.
“[Mosby] is a smooth player. Everybody knows he shoots the ball well, has good length. We just think he’s going to be an important piece for us as we move forward,” Archer said. “It’s kind of funny because he came for a couple of workouts, then he was going to some other schools around the Southeast, and I thought he was going to be going away from home. I guess he wasn’t comfortable with those opportunities. Then he wound up coming to our workouts late in the recruiting period and we were glad to see him in the gym.
“I’m from Cartersville originally, so I know both A.J. and Hakeem from years past. I saw them as little kids playing.”
Archer believes Winters also has potential and is looking forward to helping his development at the next level.
“Hakeem doesn’t understand how good he is yet. He has probably had to play out of position his entire high school career, in the post, and we’re going to try to help him make that transition to the perimeter with the ball in his hands,” Archer said. “The sky is the limit for him because he has a thin frame, and if he can add some muscle mass, he may be looking at moving to a high level of basketball. A lot of people might not look at him right now and look at his high school career and say that because he’s been out of position, 6-2 post player, but he has enough athleticism and length to make that transition to the perimeter.”
Winters was a key role player for Cartersville this season, especially on defense where he averaged over three steals per game.
“What [Winters] did is he was a good rebounder for us, but probably the biggest thing he brought was the chemistry,” Tobin said. “There wasn’t one guy on the team that didn’t think the world of him. He was a fun guy to be with on and off the court. He knew how to have fun, but he was serious come game time.”
For Winters, signing in the J.H. Morgan gym was particularly meaningful as that is where he grew up playing.
“I live right down the street from here, playing all the time or in the top gym all the time,” Winter said.
Winters and Mosby will join former Excel Christian Academy standout Elijah Robinson at Chattahoochee Tech. Robinson graduated Excel in 2013 and played alongside Hakeem’s older brother, Rudy Winters.
“I’ve been knowing coach [Archer] since I was little. I’ve come to the gym and watched his previous teams play,” Winters said. “I want to come here to develop my skills because I know [Archer] is one of the best coaches to do so. I’ve seen progression in players that have gone there. Elijah Robinson has gotten better from this past year.”
Winters also was looking at Tennessee Tech and Cookville but decided to stay close to home.
“I was thinking about all the colleges I could possibly go to and [Chattahoochee Tech] was the first that could possibly come to mind. When [Archer] told me it was possible I could come here, I immediately got excited and made it one of my top priorities.
“I think I can fit into whatever position I’m put in. If I can be a scorer, a passer, a defender, just all aspects of the game, I can contribute.”
Tobin believes that no matter how much Mosby and Winters contribute on the court, Chattahoochee Tech will be getting an influx of character.
“I tell people all the time, but these are great kids. They’re obviously good basketball players, but they’re really great young men, high character kids,” Tobin said. “I’ve know [Archer] since I moved here 12 years ago. He’s done a great job, has an excellent program, but what I really love about David is I know he really cares about the kids. I know some coaches, all they care about is winning, but he’s known these guys since they were little kids and he’s going to take care of them.”