CONYERS — As days turned into weeks, Montez Swann found himself at a crossroads, not knowing if a chance to take his talents to the collegiate level would happen or not.

A standout at Salem, the 5-foot-11 guard shined shined on the basketball court in his final two seasons. Swann averaged in doubles figures in both seasons, improving his points total from 12.6 as junior to 14.4 as a senior. He also improved in rebounds per game (2.5), assists (1.9) and steals (1.5).

But even that wasn’t enough to have college programs come knocking right away.

“It was a little frustrating. I’m not going to lie,” Swann said. “But I knew that if I stayed prayed up and kept it in God’s hands, everything would work out."

Fortunately for Swann, it did.

Hartnell Community College, a program 2,434 miles away from where he played his high school basketball in Conyers, Georgia, added Swann to their list of top remaining recruits. It didn't take very long after that for Swann to take to Twitter to announce his commitment before signing his National Letter of Intent to the Salinas, California junior college in the days come.

“It was a great feeling,” Swann said. “The key was to just stay patient and go to the school that was best for me and wanted me. I wanted to go where you’re needed and not just wanted.

"It feels good to have my recruitment over with. I’m just ready to go to the next level and show everybody what I can do. I’m just ready to show everyone who didn’t recruit me what I can do and what they missed out on.”

Despite having never stepped foot on campus, the thought of living in California for the next two years quickly put a smile on Swann's face when thinking about it.

“I'm most definitely going to be nervous, but It’s really cool,” Swann said. “California is somewhere where I’ve always wanted to live. So for a school in California to hit me up about coming to their school was really shocking. It’s in the north part of California, so it’s going to be cool weather and cool breezes. And it’s a beach town, so I’m ready.”

In Swann's talks with the Hartnell coaching staff, the chance of getting playing time as freshman and competing for a starting job are high, he said.

“They said they like my game,” Swann said. “They said my game fits their playing style. I can knock down the outside shot and get inside and get my teammates involved. They have some sophomores and freshman leaving, so they think me and my game can come in right away and get to it."

With an opportunity to play out his two years at the junior college and transfer to a bigger program after, Swann said he's hoping to go in and make a bang.

“I’m trying to lead my conference in any aspect that I can,” Swann said. “Lead the conference in points, if I can. Rebounds, field goals, assists. I’m trying to go out with a bang and show a lot of coaches what I can do.”

Sports Editor

A 2017 graduate of the University of North Georgia, Colin joined the Rockdale/Newton Citizen in March of 2018 as the papers' full-time sports editor. A 2013 graduate of Jackson County High School, Colin received a golf scholarship to Andrew College.

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