By Melanie Kirby
The past few years, two all-Americans have emerged from Flagler men’s basketball. It is no coincidence that both have come out of the program in the past five years and are currently playing on the same minor-professional team.
Former Saints golf coach and assistant men’s basketball coach J.J. Anderson, head coach of the Central Oregon Hot Shots, recruited John Randolph and Carlton Summers, Flagler basketball standouts and key cogs in the Saints’ most successful teams.
Summers and Randolph played together for the Saints in 2003-2004. That Saints team made it to the Sweet 16 of the NAIA National Tournament.
The Hot Shots are a member of the International Basketball League, a paid league where players hope to get exposure as they work to reach a higher level of professional basketball.
During his career at Flagler, Summers averaged 21.3 points per game and was named Florida Sun Conference Player of the Year in 2005. His 661 points scored that season are a Flagler record. Summers, originally from Orlando, was the sixth man to sign with the Hot Shots for the 2006 season, and his coach is expecting him to have an impacting role on the team.
“Carlton fits well into our plans to add more quickness, offensive versatility and a knack for hard-nosed defense,” Anderson said. “He is also incredibly excited about the opportunity to dive into a full season at the professional level after several exposure camps and pro summer leagues. He also brings a history and expectation of winning.”
Signing eighth with the Hot Shots, St. Augustine native John Randolph is a valuable asset added to the team. In his career at Flagler, Randolph was a two-time All American, averaging 19.1 PPG and 5.7 rebounds per game in his senior year.
Randolph is the Saints’ all time leading scorer having scored 2,073 points in his four years at Flagler.
Anderson attempted to sign Randolph last year, but the timing was not right.
“This will be a perfect chance for John to show his stuff at the professional level. He’s exciting on both ends of the court and he’s a proven winner,” Anderson said.
With the support of friends, family, former teammates and coaches in St. Augustine, Summers and Randolph are hoping to have successful careers beyond college.
Flagler Men’s Basketball Coach Bo Clark believes this is a tremendous opportunity for both players. “It is fantastic to see our two All-Americans on the same pro-team,” Clark said.
The Hot Shots’ 2006 season begins March 17. Updates on the team can be found http://www.iblhoopsonline.com/teamCentralOregon.html.