Ellender uses rebound advantage to bounce St. Martinville _lowres

Advocate photo by Buddy Delahoussaye- St. Martinville's Bradley Savoy drives the lane against Ellender in a Class 4A baseball playoff game last season.

St. Martinville guard Bradley Savoy said his belief that he would play college basketball never wavered despite a recruiting process that didn’t generate a lot of interest.

“I wanted to play, but I wasn’t getting looked at,” Savoy said. “I was looking at a second plan going and thought about going into the Air Force. I prayed every night, and I got looked at toward the end.”

Savoy was rewarded for his patience when an opportunity to work out in front of the coaching staff from LSU-Alexandria — an invitation only event — manifested itself into a scholarship offer, an official visit and ultimately a signature when the 5-foot-9 guard recently signed with the NAIA school.

“I had never given up hope. I was still working out,” Savoy said. “I sent my (highlight) tape to them, and they emailed me about the workout May 3 at Comeaux High School. I went there and did good and they liked me. I went for a visit and I liked the school and the program.”

St. Martinville basketball coach Darrel Mitchell Sr. said he always thought Savoy had college ability and was excited about his landing spot at LSU-Alexandria.

“I thought that was the best thing for him,” Mitchell said. “It’s a chance for him to go and excel on the next level. I thought he was capable of playing on the next level, and now he’s got a chance.

“It’s always a blessing for a coach to have kids move on to play at the next level,” Mitchell said. “When we needed a big shot, he usually delivered. He shot the ball well, and on occasion he played the point.”

Savoy, who played off the ball and was St. Martinville’s primary perimeter shooter, showed his ability during the workout to handle the ball as a point guard and be a pass-first player.

“I was passing well,” he said. “That’s what they want me to do and that’s play the point, pass more and do a little less scoring than what I did in high school. I can play the point guard. I was always a passer.”

LSU-Alexandria finished with a 23-4 record and ranked No. 17 under first-year coach Larry Cordaro, who was named NAIA’s national coach of the year.

The Generals won the Red River Athletic Conference and advanced to the NAIA national tournament in Kansas City, where they lost 55-47 to the University of The Cumberlands of Kentucky.

Moreover, LSU-Alexandria averaged 78.5 points with five players averaging double figures. They also attempted 192 shots behind the 3-point arc.

“They told me to work out and come in and get the job,” Savoy said. “I’ll fit perfect. They like to play fast, and I can throw a lot of alley-oops to the bigs.”

Savoy helped St. Martinville to a 24-9 record and share of the District 5-4A championship with St. Thomas More. The Tigers reached the regional round of the state playoffs for the first time during Savoy’s career before losing to Ellender 54-32.

Savoy, who had a 3.58 grade-point average, earned first team All-District 5-4A honors and was a member of The Advocate’s Big School All-Metro team, averaging 13.5 points, five assists and four rebounds.

“I’m blessed, I didn’t want to go too far,” Savoy said. “I’m glad it worked out the way it did. I got to fulfill my dream and make my parents proud by going to school.”