VALDOSTA, Ga. (WTXL) - Highland Christian senior basketball stand-out Kendrick Hayes made a decision to transfer from public to private school in the middle of his high school career- a decision he's glad he's made.
"Me, I like words. I like to play tough," he laughed. "Coming from over there, we like to smack talk and stuff but over here, it taught me to humble and keep others around me humble, be a leader on the court."
Kendrick's pretty humble about his stats - the 6'8 big man averaged 21 points and 15 boards a game his senior campaign.
"He had a double double in all but one of our 26 games this season," said head coach Joel Stites. "As a leader, it was a huge transition for him to go from the quiet junior to the outspoken senior, and he did a good job of that."
"I worked hard and I developed and my senior year, I was pretty outspoken," agreed Kendrick. "I was loud, I was a leader and I was where I wanted to be. I still have room to grow."
As hard as Kendrick's worked on the hardwood- he's worked just as hard in the classroom, boasting a 3.8 GPA.
"School first before basketball. It's student athlete, student first," he said. "My mom said the same thing. It was like work, work, work. You have to get your school work to play basketball. You're not going to go nowhere if you don't get your schoolwork done!"
"It's all about time management. When you have something to work for, which was basketball for Kendrick, the classroom has to be there," said coach Stites. "There's no ifs, ands, or buts. He has to perform in the classroom to be able to play. At the end of the day, the numbers don't lie."
No, they certainly don't, and Pasco Hernando State College took notice.
"I'm just excited to go to play college ball," said Kendrick. "I'm ready to go to the next level, and show them what I got."
What he's got - with the numbers to prove it.