NORTH AUGUSTA — One of the area’s most prolific scorers on the basketball court is making another move. This one will take him across town to a different school.
Marques Sumner, a rising senior, who averaged 20 points per game last season playing for the Fox Creek High School boys’ basketball team, is set to transfer to North Augusta High School. It has been a long process, according to Sumner.
“Everything just fell into place as far as the system that (new North Augusta head coach Tony) Harrell is capable of running and family situations played another big part,” Sumner said. “I am returning to better myself as a player and student. There is competition in (Class) A, but (Class) AAAA will prepare me for the collegiate level. I think playing in AAAA will get me mentally and physically stronger to be able to compete at the next level.”
For Sumner to be eligible at North Augusta, he must go through the transfer paperwork. As of now, that hasn’t been finalized. Because of that, Harrell said he could offer no comment on the situation.
Should Sumner gain his eligibility, North Augusta would get a potent scorer. Sumner has the ability to slash to the basket off the dribble and knock down shots from the perimeter.
Last season, Sumner scored 20 or more points in 14 of Fox Creek’s 26 games. His season-high was on Jan. 21 against Williston-Elko, where he dropped 34 points on the Blue Devils. Despite the loss of production, Fox Creek head coach Andrew Peckham lauded the departing Sumner.
“One of the best pure scorers in the CSRA,” Peckham said of Sumner, who garnered extra attention last season when he dedicated every basket he scored to the memory of Paul Walker – the actor who died in a car accident. “I wish him the best at North Augusta.”
Sumner actually started his high school basketball career as a Yellow Jacket. He played his freshman year at North Augusta, before transferring to play for the Predators.
Although he played for a different team the past two seasons, Sumner said he’s familiar with many of the Yellow Jacket players. That includes fellow All-State and All-Aiken Standard selection Chandler Harrison, as well as Victor Johnson and Jaquez Smith.
“I have played with a lot of the guys such as Chandler, Jock, Raekwon (Daniels),” said Sumner, who could be called on to help fill the scoring void left by Malik Dunbar, who transferred to Spring Valley earlier this year. “Victor and I were middle school teammates so I’m looking forward to getting on the court with him again.”
Sumner also pointed out the allure of playing for Harrell, who will be in his first season in North Augusta after seven successful years at Aiken High. Harrell was hired to lead the Jackets when longtime head coach Al Young retirement earlier this year.
“I was aware that Coach Harrell is new, but I have witnessed him coach several good ball teams,” Sumner said. “He played point guard in college, so I’m ready to receive the great point guard knowledge he has so I can carry it on throughout life. I’m just looking forward to playing with the guys, having a good time, and work for a state championship.”
Scott Rodgers is the news editor at the North Augusta Star and has been with the paper since 2013. Follow him on Twitter @TheScottRodgers.