West and Shaquille Cook, members of Laney’s Class AA state champion boys basketball team, solidified their post-high school futures Thursday by signing with Tuskegee University.
“It’s kind of like a reward in the end,” West said. “This is something that will mean more than a state championship.”
“It feels gratifying,” said Laney coach Jerry Hunter, who commended the players and the team for overcoming obstacles along the way.
During Laney’s playoff run, the two took turns leading the Wildcats in Macon.
Against Jordan in a semifinal, Cook scored 16 points in the opening quarter of a 52-44 win.
Two days later, West scored the Wildcats’ first 11 points as Laney beat Manchester 67-53 for its first state championship.
A little more than a month after that last win, Cook and West ensured they would stay teammates at the next level.
“I just loved it. I felt a little vibe – the campus is huge and it’s a good school,” Cook said. “And I’ll have a brother right next to me.”
Hunter said he’s heard positives about both players’ skill and attitude from Tuskegee, which competes in the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, along with Paine College. Hunter thinks both could make an early impact.