WOODSTOCK -- Dereon Seabron opted to go the postgraduate basketball route out of high school to increase his stock as a college prospect. He’s done so much more than that with his enrollment at Massanutten Military Academy this school year.
A 6-foot-7 point guard from Lake Taylor High School in Norfolk, Seabron has garnered the added attention he coveted from college programs since arriving at MMA in August, with offers from East Carolina, Georgia, Minnesota, Temple, Southern Methodist and Virginia Commonwealth bolstering a list of nearly 20 NCAA Division I offers.
Seabron said he’s also taken strides in strengthening his slender frame and has worked on making the jump shot a more consistent part of his game. An admittedly shy person, Seabron additionally has become a more vocal presence on the court while playing point guard for the first time since middle school.
“Postgrad’s good for numerous reasons,” MMA head coach Chad Myers said. “Obviously, for him it’s recruitment, all that stuff, but I think he’s just grown being in a different environment, having to do different stuff, being here, waking up, getting your stuff together, being away from home. I think all those things, he’s just kind of matured as a person. We went and played at his high school right before (Christmas break) and people said they felt like he’d even grown, just being around them, as a person, which is good.”
Seabron has also grown on the court, where he’s adjusted quite well to a new position with the Colonels (13-2), who return to action for the first time since the holiday break with a game against a two-loss Huntington Prep (West Virginia) team at the Chance Harman Classic in Floyd today.
Seabron, the Virginia High School League Class 4 State Player of the Year as a senior in 2017-18, averaged over 22 points per game during his final season at Lake Taylor, where he primarily played the wing and led the Titans to a double-overtime win over Handley in the Class 4 state championship game.
Aware of the potential mismatches he could create at point guard given his size, he wanted to be the primary ball-handler at MMA. Seabron is the Colonels’ leading scorer through 15 games this season, but Myers said Seabron has looked the part of a pass-first player, a gift for a postgrad team that essentially unveils a brand-new roster each season.
"I just think that makes it easier to coach because he gets everybody the ball, and then he can do so many other things,” Myers said. “He rebounds it really well. He can guard multiple positions, we can switch a lot of stuff. When I went and saw him at the state tournament I thought he could be a point, but he’s really shown that he’s almost like a true point guard, which is crazy because he’s 6-7.”
That height has regularly created mismatches against smaller guards this season, Seabron said, and Myers said an underrated asset of big guards is their ability to see the floor even as teams try to speed them up with pressure and traps. It’s hard to take the ball away from Seabron, Myers noted, and his size allows him to scan the floor even while caught in a double-team.
“He’s got a chance to make a lot of money playing basketball with his size and his length,” Myers said, “and that’s what the game’s kind of coming to.”
Seabron first has to find a place to play college ball, which is what drew him to MMA – where Myers has built one of the country’s most successful postgrad programs and regularly sends players to the highest levels of Division I basketball – in the first place.
“I just felt like with the scholarships I did have (coming out of high school), I just felt like I could go somewhere bigger and better,” Seabron, who had 13 D1 offers before he came to MMA, said, “and I felt like this would be the best route for me to get that opportunity.”
Seabron said on Thursday he hadn’t yet narrowed down his offers to a list of favorites.
”Just like somewhere to fit my style of play, somewhere I can play right away,” he replied when asked what he’s looking for in a school. “A winning program. Somewhere that’s gonna help me be a better man on and off the court and just somewhere I can get my degree.”
In Seabron, college teams will get a versatile point guard. A steady scorer, Seabron is averaging 17.5 points per game – he’s one of two Colonels, alongside VCU signee Jarren McAllister (17.4 ppg), averaging over 17 a contest – and he leads MMA with 3.7 assists per game. His 5.8 rebounds per contest are fourth on the team (Brandon Suggs and Jarvis Vaughan, MMA’s other two double-digit scorers, are averaging 5.9 rebounds).
“First, I’m looking to get my teammates involved and make everyone around me better,” Seabron said. “I just do whatever I do, like score, rebound, defend, whatever my team needs me to do.”
Myers called Seabron “shifty” with the ball in his hands and relentless in attacking the rim, where he takes advantage of his size and athleticism. Myers added that Seabron doesn’t “settle” for jump shots, but that the perimeter game is where Seabron needs to become more consistent as he prepares for the college level.
Seabron is shooting 55.1 percent (97-for-176) from the floor for the Colonels this season but has hit only 24.1 percent (7 of 29) from beyond the 3-point arc. He’s also shooting 66.3 percent from the free-throw line.
Myers said that while most college coaches who have flocked to MMA to check out the talent on the Colonels' roster agree Seabron’s jump shot needs work, “I don’t know if we’ve had anybody really come in here who hasn’t liked him.”
“I think everybody’s kind of been intrigued as soon as they’ve seen him,” Myers said, “that how is this guy not known, not rated (higher)?”