WOODSTOCK — Massanutten Military Academy postgraduate basketball players Dereon Seabron, Brandon Suggs and Jarvis Vaughan each gave their verbal pledges to college suitors back in January. Those three have made official their college hoops destinations.
Seabron (North Carolina State), Suggs (East Carolina) and Vaughan (Monmouth) each signed their national letters of intent on Wednesday morning, making good on the commitments they made to their respective schools three months ago.
“It’s just a real good feeling when you know the place you’re gonna be at next year,” Seabron, a 6-foot-7 guard, said on Wednesday, “to continue to chase your dreams and just set future goals.”
When explaining why he chose N.C. State from a list of nearly 20 Division I offers back in January, Seabron said he was looking for a program that fit his style of play, could offer early playing time, had a winning pedigree and could help better him as a person and a basketball player.
Suggs, who like Seabron is listed at 6-7, was sold on ECU during his own recruiting process by what he said was persistence on the part of Pirates head coach Joe Dooley. Suggs, a Powder Springs, Georgia native, also held offers from Auburn, Georgia Tech, Texas A&M and the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
“I liked how Dooley was pushing hard. He was like the hardest one pushing. He was talking a lot about redeveloping a program, getting better players. Basically he just wanted me to come in and change the program, really,” Suggs said of Dooley, who began his second stint at ECU last season after coaching at Florida Gulf Coast for five years.
“Every other school just tells you what you want to hear, but East Carolina, they kept it real from the start. They’d tell me like I’m not gonna have nothing — like I knew I was gonna have a spot but I’ve got to work for it, they’re not just gonna give it to me. I like that because other schools just tell you what you want to hear.”
Seabron, Suggs and Vaughan, a former standout for Robert E. Lee High School in Staunton, were all key pieces for a Massanutten squad that reached the National Prep Championship semifinals last month.
Seabron, the Virginia High School League Class 4 State Player of the Year as a senior at Lake Taylor High School in 2018, played point guard for the first time with the Colonels, and he said on Wednesday that becoming a better point guard and floor leader was one of his biggest goals when he came to Massanutten.
“I thought he had all the tools coming in,” Colonels head coach Chad Myers said of Seabron’s areas of improvement this past season, “but as the season went along I thought kind of the pace of the game, controlling the game, knowing when to go and not go, if we had the lead kind of controlling the ball and who got the ball at times and all those kinds of things.”
Suggs said Myers helped him improve his jump shot and solidify his ball-handling, during the season, and he added that he’s added more bulk to his frame since arriving at MMA, something he wanted to do when he chose the postgrad route.
“We kind of saw him as an intangible glue guy who could do a little bit of everything,” Myers said. “I think as the year went on he actually became one of our better 3-point shooters in a lot of games. He had a couple big games. … Down the stretch he kind of became a shot maker. I think he just got in better and better shape. He’s a really good defender and I think that’s one of the best things he can do is he can guard multiple positions. I think that’s allowed him to be good at the next level.”
Vaughan, who battled an injury at the start of the season, previously had been committed to Old Dominion University before reopening his recruitment.
Myers said Vaughan built a strong relationship with Monmouth assistant coach Rick Callahan, Vaughan’s primary recruiter, as well as Hawks head coach King Rice and assistant coach JR Reid.
“I think he felt really comfortable with them, and I think he feels like he can go there and play right away,” Myers said of Vaughan. “I think with ODU’s roster, they were really talented and had a lot of guys coming back, so it was probably a little bit longer down the road before he would get a chance to play. I think he really wanted to go somewhere he had a chance to make an impact and hopefully be an all-conference guy one day.”