Wallace signs with St. Francis

Published 10:37 pm Friday, April 18, 2014

By Matthew Hatfield

Correspondent

It’s time for the next chapter in the basketball career of Daniel Wallace.

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Every time the Warriors took the floor, the 6-foot-8 Nansemond River center stood out as one of the most physically imposing players and certainly played a part in helping them post a record of 78-23 during the last four years, including the Ironclad Conference regular-season title in 2013-14.

Nansemond River High School's Daniel Wallace has taken the next step in his basketball career by committing to play in Pennsylvania with Saint Francis University.

Nansemond River High School’s Daniel Wallace has taken the next step in his basketball career by committing to play in Pennsylvania with Saint Francis University.

Wallace has signed a letter of intent to play college basketball at the Division I level for Saint Francis University in Loretto, Pa.

“I chose St. Francis, because it was the right fit for me,” Wallace said. “I liked the players, the staff and, most of all, the environment. It’s nice and peaceful. I love the atmosphere there. It’s a warm, welcoming place. And I heard the fans are just like the River Rowdies, so I am excited to see.”

The St. Francis Re Flash is coached by Rob Krimmel and participates in the Northeast Conference. They finished 10-21 last season, their best record in four years, and are looking to steadily progress. Wallace’s frame and presence on the defensive end were among his attractions.

“They said they like my motor and that I can finish at and around the rim,” Wallace said. “In my eyes, the best part of my game is defense. I think I can bring a high level of energy to the team. I also feel I will bring help on the boards.”

In the recruiting process, Wallace also drew interest from Liberty and a few other D-1 programs. Nansemond River coach Ed Young said he believes Wallace is going after the right opportunity.

“For his mentality, Daniel’s going to the perfect place for him academically and athletically,” said Young. “I hope he makes that impact both in the classroom and on that court. I know that coaching staff very well, and of course it’s an area I’m really familiar with, having coached around those parts before. I’m happy for him and hope he stays successful.”

There are areas the Suffolk product would like to improve in to become a force early in his career, rather than late.

“I want to improve my handles, range strength and raise my overall IQ for the game,” Wallace noted.

Chosen First Team All-Ironclad Conference as a senior, Wallace averaged 10.6 points, 11.5 rebounds and four blocks per game, plus converted 72 percent of his free-throws for the Warriors, who went 19-4 overall. He led the team in double-doubles after missing most of his junior season due to injury.

Following that injury, doubt could’ve easily crept into his head about whether or not he would get a chance to play D-1 college basketball. He wants to take full advantage of it moving forward.

“The fact that I can be blessed to play at the Division I level is a dream come true, but the hard work doesn’t stop here. I’ve got bigger dreams and goals now,” Wallace said, noting his teammates and coaches had provided memories and aided him along the way.

“First and foremost, I will remember my teammates. I love all my brothers. I will also remember the whole coaching staff. They helped me a lot. And I will miss the River Rowdies.”

In college, Wallace plans to major in business management or communications.

What should the fans back home look for from him on the hardwood?

“They can expect me to do the best I can and to represent the 757,” Wallace answered. “I am going to try and make everyone proud, that’s all.”