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West Bladen High School Logo

Photos by Kenneth Armstrong

West Bladen senior Stefan McDonald has decided to play college basketball next season at Guilford College in Greensboro.

McDonald made his announcement in a ceremony in the West Bladen gym Wednesday afternoon with his parents, family, friends, teammates, coaches and school administrators in attendance.

A number of junior colleges including Cape Fear Community, Caldwell, Louisburg and Davidson made offers to McDonald, but in the end the opportunity to go to a 4-year school proved too inviting to resist.

“I wanted to go to a 4-year school instead of a junior college,” said McDonald. “I like the coaching staff and the school.” McDonald was also familiar with the campus since he and the Knights have attended basketball camp there for the last 4 years.

McDonald averaged 16 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists this past season as he led the Knights to a 20-8 record and the championship of two holiday tournaments. He also connected on over 40 per cent of his 3-point shots.

At Tuesday night’s West Bladen Athletic Awards banquet, McDonald who was also a star on the Knight football team was named the school’s Male Athlete of the Year and Most Valuable Basketball Player.

“It is a good fit for him and a coup for Guilford,” said West Bladen Coach Travis Pait. “I’ve had several college coaches tell me he could be a Division I player.”

McDonald will attend Guilford under a partial academic scholarship. “There will be an adjustment for him – both on the court and in the classroom, but he should do well,” continued Coach Pait. “The ODAC is probably the best Division III conference in the country.”

Coach Tom Palombo’s Quakers finished 11-5 in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference last year and 16-10 overall.

Stefan’s mother, Ms. Remonia Walker, was excited, “He is going to a 4-year school and it is only 3 hours away. I can get up there every weekend to see him play.”

Ms. Walker also shared that her cousin, former NBA star Chris Wilcox, has been very supportive of Stefan. “He has been a good teacher and a positive influence for Stefan,” she said.

Stefan’s father, former Tar Heel High football star Steve McDonald, was also present at the ceremony and said, “ I hope he goes up there and does well.”