Five years ago, Eric Ferguson was leading the Statesboro Blue Devils. He was a WTOC Playere of the Week.
After a year of prep school, he is now a junior at Georgia Southern as the Eagles try to rebuild the basketball program under coach Charlton Young. It seemed as if it was destiny that Ferguson would play for Young. "Being able to play for Georgia Southern was just a blessing," said Ferguson. "Being able to come here and play for my Godfather and have this whole student body with us pulling for us."
Ferguson is averaging more than 15 points and nearly 8 rebounds a game this season. That puts him 6th in scoring in the Southern Conference and 2nd in rebounding. He says he just tries to do whatever he can to help the Eagles improve as they head into conference play, "I put of lot of work and effort in on myself, put the team on my back so I can be able to be a leader and to be able to come out here every night showing that how we can play hard and win games and just have leadership."
Coach Young added, "There are 2 things I am proud about as his work ethic has improved, his ability to show up every day. Also, his body has improved. He has gained probably 25 or 26 pounds of muscle since he enrolled at Georgia Southern. He's a different player than he was 4 years ago. He's just a work in progress and he's getting better every time he steps on the court."
Ferguson thinks the Eagles have what it takes to compete in the conference and talks about what he needs to do in order for the team to make a run at the title. "We're a very good team," said Ferguson. "I need to come out and play with a lot of energy, just be able to lead these guys. I mean, do the easy work as far as rebounding. Be able to do anything the team needs. I'm just here, all around. Whatever the team needs, I'm just going to be able to do it."
The Eagles open conference play at Wofford Saturday.
Ferguson is majoring in Sports Management and will have his degree by the time he leaves Southern.