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Albany Tech hoops star Blunt signs with D-I school

April 16, 2009 - Two years ago, Demarcus Blunt had traded in his basketball dreams for a forklift at a Cordele lumber mill.  On Wednesday, basketball was not only back in Blunt's heart, but in his life for at least the next two years as the Albany Tech sophomore signed with NCAA Division I school Grambling State of the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC).

"It's just been crazy," Blunt said. "I had pretty much given up on basketball. Then I heard of a tryout (for Albany Tech's new men's basketball program) in 2007 and I made the team and it just took off from there. This means a lot to me. Considering where I came from, this means a lot."

What sounds like a storybook tale for Blunt played out in reality for the Albany Tech guard who was a first-team NJCAA Region XVII selection after averaging 14 points, seven rebounds and six assists last season for ATC, which reached the region tourney semifinals and finished with a 20-12 record in just their second year of existence.

Blunt is the second Titan to sign with a four-year college. Last year, Zachary Williams signed with NAIA school Concordia-Selma.

"I think it's huge," Titans coach Sylvester Patterson said. "A lot of times when we recruit, we are going against the notion that other junior colleges press, that they can't go Division I from a technical school. This puts all that to rest. He might can be in March Madness next year."

Blunt, who played at Crisp County with cousin/Georgia Tech star Lewis Clinch, is still in awe of his change of fortunes.

Earlier Wednesday, Blunt told Clinch of the good news and he responded with some advice.

"He's excited for me," Blunt said. "It's a really big step for me. He and I are trying to do the same thing. He told me to just stay grounded and stay focused."

Blunt also had offers from Albany State, Savannah State and Clark Atlanta, but Grambling State may have had the inside track since last year. Current Grambling State assistant coach Philip Stitt was head coach at Florida Community College when that team faced Albany Tech in 2007-08.

From there, Stitt kept track of Blunt, and he in turned liked what Grambling State had to offer.

"When I got there, the coaches and players there were very similar to what we had at Albany Tech," Blunt said. "They don't just want you to play basketball, they want you to get your degree."

Scott Chancey
Sports Writer

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