Warrior will be Citadel Bulldog

Published 9:30 pm Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Nansemond River boys basketball seniors, seated from left, Eryck Robinson, Ashton Moore and Jemal Cannon announced their college decisions at the school Wednesday morning. Robinson is going to Averett on an academic scholarship and is planning to try out for the basketball team. Moore signed a full basketball scholarship to go to The Citadel. Cannon is going to Old Dominion and will be majoring in computer science.

Ashton Moore, Nansemond River’s all-state guard, made his college plans official, signing a scholarship offer from The Citadel, during a ceremony with family and friends in the school’s library Wednesday morning.

“I thank God first of all for this opportunity. It’s a one in a million opportunity and I thank everyone who’s supported me from my freshman year on,” Moore said to all the special guests.

Moore, who was the Southeastern District Player of the Year along with his regional and state honors as NR won the district’s season title and reached the regional quarterfinals, is the third Warrior basketball player to go on to a Division I program in the past four years. Andre Jones is a junior at Winthrop and Nick Wright is a redshirt-sophomore at Old Dominion.

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“As a sophomore, I threatened to send him back to JV,” said Nansemond River head coach Ed Young. “He responded and worked harder.”

“When he gets to The Citadel, he might not know what hit him when he walks on to campus, but I know he’s going to handle it,” Young said.

Young wasn’t referring to what awaits Moore as a Bulldog basketball player but to the Charleston, S.C. school being a military academy.

Joining Moore at the head table in the library were classmates and teammates Eryck Robinson and Jemal Cannon, who also announced their college decisions. Robinson’s going to Averett and Cannon’s going to Old Dominion.

Robinson’s planning on majoring in journalism or sports management and going out for the Cougar basketball program. Cannon wants to major in computer science. Moore wants to major in business or sports management.

“Kids like these three guys make our program what it is and they make me look good,” Young said.

“This is bigger than wins, even games against Lakeland and King’s Fork, and everyone knows how I feel about them, but this is a bigger day for a coach,” Young said.

A visit to The Citadel piqued Moore’s interest in accepting the Bulldog offer.

“When I was down there, I saw the campus during my official visit. I was able to spend time with the players and playing with them. It’s definitely a group of guys I can see myself with,” Moore said.

“The style and tempo the team plays with fits my game, and the coaching staff is great,” Moore said.

The Citadel went 10-22 overall and 6-12 in the Southern Conference last season under first-year head coach Chuck Driesell, son of and former assistant coach for coaching legend Lefty Driesell, who won 786 games in 32 seasons of college coaching.

“It means I’m not done with basketball,” Moore said. “Plus my family will be there supporting me, going to as many games as possible, and I’ll definitely need that. I couldn’t have gotten this far without them.”

Young said the Bulldogs have games at Georgetown, James Madison and Virginia Tech lined up for the 2011-12 schedule. Within the Southern, rivals UNC-Greensboro and Elon aren’t too far of a road trip from Suffolk.

“His mom and dad were sure to remind me,” said Young during the ceremony, “this scholarship adds up to $38,000 a year.”