Amir Gary is looking forward to the college experience of seeing the world outside Polk County.
He’ll get the chance to do a lot of that in the four years ahead.
Gary will join the basketball program at Carolina Christian College, based in Winston-Salem. The Centurions compete in the Association of Christian College Athletics and finished fourth in the ACCA national tournament in early March.
Gary, family, teammates and friends celebrated his commitment during a signing ceremony on Monday in the Polk County High auditorium.
“It means a lot,” Gary said. “I’ve played this game since I was little, and it was always a dream to play at the next level. Coach (Lemont) Jones helped me pursue it and made it happen.”
Plagued by an injury late in the season, Gary averaged 9.4 points for Polk County. He made 44 3-pointers for the season, 95 for his career and set a school single-game record with eight 3-pointers in a 29-point effort at A.C. Reynolds.
Gary’s play earned him a spot in the West vs. Midwest 1A All-Star Game, and it was then that the Polk senior learned his playing days might not be over.
“Coach Jones let me know after I was selected for the all-star game that they wanted to talk to me,” Gary said. “(CCC head coach Jamie Foster) started calling me and texting me after the game.”
Jones thinks his senior will fare well at the ACCA school.
“When he gets to campus, he’s going to be a pretty good asset as far as being a gentleman,” Jones said. “The work ethic, he’s got that. He’s got a lot of hunger to play.
“It’s a great opportunity for him to continue playing basketball at the next level. It’s not the ACC, but it’s a chance to go and play. I think he’s shown that he wants that opportunity.”
CCC has both a varsity and junior varsity program, which should offer Gary an opportunity to play all four seasons at the bible college founded in 1948.
“I’m just ready to go up there and get to work,” Gary said. “I leave June 15, just a few days after graduation, to start summer workouts and summer classes. I’m ready to get to work.”