Nearly cut in H.S., Frazier becomes college player
by Jason Greenberg
May 17, 2014 | 758 views | 0 0 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend | print
When Adairsville senior basketball player Sammie Frazier showed up to tryouts his freshman year, the coaching staff did not expect much from him.

In fact, Frazier was nearly cut that first year.

Fortunately, for everyone involved, Frazier made the team and went on to develop into one of the most dominating interior presences in Region 5-AAA this past season.

On Wednesday, Frazier’s career came full circle from a near roster casualty to a college basketball player as the 6-foot-5 post player signed to play at Georgia Northwestern Technical College.

“Sammie came to us with good hands and height, so for four years, [former Adairsville head basketball coach Jacob Travis] and I didn’t want to cut him, but we thought about it,” Frazier’s head coach at Adairsville, Kent Howard, said. “He couldn’t get up and down the floor, he couldn’t run, he couldn’t score. He had good hands and he was tall, and we had a bunch of short players on the team. We had to have some post players so we kept him. As the year went on, he got better and better and better, then the next year, better and better and better.

“This is an exciting day for our program for a lot of reasons. Obviously, seeing Sammie pursue a dream, but more than that, he’s a kid who has been in our program four years and his hard work has payed off and allowed him to have this opportunity. It’s a great story about a kid who came in and was mediocre, and he left a legacy and has an opportunity to continue his education.”

Frazier averaged 12 points, 10.3 rebounds and 3.2 blocks per game as a senior and shot an impressive 57 percent from the floor.

He was selected to the all-region team and was Adairsville’s Northwest Georgia Tipoff Club Player of the month in December on his way to being named to The Daily Tribune News All-County team.

Frazier’s inside presence was on full display on Feb. 8 in a region game against Coahulla Creek. Frazier scored nine points, blocked nine shots and grabbed 23 rebounds to help his team to a 58-40 victory.

“He was consistently good around the basket, night in and night out,” Howard said of Frazier. “He was active, scored when he needed to score, he was one of the state’s leading rebounders per game in our classification and he blocked shots, so he was a gamechanger for us this year. A lot of people don’t realize what a shot blocker and a rebounder does in a game.”

Frazier grew five inches in high school, but that was not the only improvement he made on his way to becoming an impact player for the Tigers.

“Coming up as a freshman, I wasn’t even going to make the team. I was garbage, goofy; I had just hit my growth spurt,” Frazier said. “I put in a lot of hard work, dedication. Every summer, I put time in at the gym.”

“He’s just someone who has had a chance to improve every year that he’s been in school because he’s committed himself to the gym,” Howard said. “He’s a gym rat and he’s had a dream. He said since he got here that he wanted to play college basketball, and he’s one of those guys that really just worked himself into being a good player.”

Frazier hope to continues to improve at Georgia Northwestern in Rome, an NJCAA program in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Conference.

“I was just looking for the best place to play and get my grades up. It’s always been my dream to play college ball. When the coach came to talk to me, I just liked him a lot and I liked the program,” Frazier said of his college decision. “Me and my coach sat down and had a long talk about it, and we figured this would be the best place for me.

“I’m starting all over. I’m trying to getting better, put in extra work. I want to start and go to a Division I eventually, get better and just be the best I can be.”

“I think it’s a good fit for both of us,” Georgia Northwestern head coach David Stephenson said. “He’s a kid at 6-5, can move, can run the floor pretty well for his size. He’s also left-handed, which in my opinion, gives him an advantage over everybody. The main thing is that he’s a good kid and that’s what we’re looking for.

“It’s really going to help us as far as adding to our post play. I think he’ll fit right in with what we’re trying to do. He’s definitely in a position where he can get some serious time right off the bat.”