Haywood signs with USM

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 5, 2000

David Haywood’s dream of playing college basketball at Southern Mississippi came true sooner than expected.

The 6-foot-5, 170-pound Haywood signed with Copiah-Lincoln Community College last month with the intention of playing for one year before moving on to a major college.

Because he has the grades and ACT&160;score to go Division I-A, Haywood had the option of signing a national letter of intent with a major college during the early signing period in November.

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USM head coach James Green decided not to wait and offered Haywood a scholarship now.

&uot;That’s what I’ve been waiting for,&uot; Haywood said.

The former Natchez center/forward was also offered a scholarship to the University of New Orleans, but turned that down.

&uot;I was preparing for playing at Co-Lin, and looking forward to it because I really think it’s a team that can compete for a state championship,&uot; he said. &uot;I thought signing with a major college would be more of a reality in November. But the opportunity came and I’m looking forward to playing for Southern Miss and in their conference (Conference USA).&uot;

Haywood will be playing the No. 2 guard position at USM.

&uot;I’m going to have to prove myself and work hard, but I think I can play a lot this year,&uot; he said.

Haywood was named All-State at Natchez his senior year, and competed in the Mississippi Sports Medicine Mississippi/Alabama All-Star Basketball Game.

Haywood scored more than 1,500 points in his prep career, averaging 23 points and nine rebounds as a senior.

Haywood is the 24th player under Natchez High head coach Mike Martin to sign with a college over the past 11 years.