E.A. Sports Today

Taking the next step

Sacred Heart basketball seniors Josh Brown, Quin Riggins celebrate their decisions to continue their playing careers at the next level

By East Alabama Sports Today

Two more seniors from Sacred Heart’s fourth straight state championship basketball team celebrated their post-high school plans Friday and both are headed to the big city.

Quin Riggins, the point guard who stepped in for Division I signee D.J. Heath, has signed with Roosevelt University in downtown Chicago, while Josh Brown, who flourished in the role of Riggins’ backup in the second half of the season, is heading to an Atlanta area prep school.

“Country boys going out in the city,” Cardinals coach Ralph Graves said. “We’re extremely proud of Josh and Quin; those kids really were a big part of our state championship team this past year.

“Unfortunately, we only had them for one year. I wish we had them a little longer so they could develop a little more, but now to see those kids sign a scholarship, you’re happy for them, you’re happy for their families and you’re happy for their futures.”

Riggins had some big shoes to fill. He replaced Heath, who throughout his career provided the Cardinals with floor leadership and toughness. He embraced the role and developed the on-floor qualities of his predecessor.

He scored 18 points, grabbed six rebounds and had three assists in the Cardinals’ 65-56 overtime win over Georgiana in the Class 1A state title game. He scored nine of his team’s 10 points in overtime Despite playing most of the second half with four fouls.

“He stepped in with no fear,” Graves said. “He’s a tough lead guard; doesn’t shy away from the moment. He wants to be out front, so his leadership skills and his character stepping into that position was really huge for us.

“His toughness – the coach in college is going to really love that about him. His game, the way he turned it on in the state championship game. He held our team together even through the county run, when we were going through the injuries at the beginning of the year. And Josh was the same thing; he was his backup.”

Roosevelt is an NAIA program that enjoyed its winningest season in school history this past season. The Lakers won 26 games this year, were ranked in the top 20 and seeded fifth in the NAIA Division II national tournament, and they recruited Riggins as a point guard to help keep the winning going.

He signed with the Lakers after making a verbal commitment to Iowa Central during the Cardinals’ Senior Night.

“I feel like I can come in there and have and have a big impact my first year and the next three years,” Riggins said. “I knew I would have to go far away but I wanted it to be somewhere I knew I still feel like home. I just got that home feeling like I was in Anniston.”

Brown’s season was a work in progress. He came into the program new and his confidence was down, but from about the time the Cardinals played in Mississippi he embraced his role.

Now he hopes to use the prep-school opportunity to develop his game to the point of getting an opportunity to play in college.

“Coach Ralph has helped me a lot,” Brown said. “I came in and he taught me things I didn’t think I could do. He just taught me most of all to trust in myself. I didn’t have that much confidence, but I got here and my confidence grew.”

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