Category Archives: Decatur High

Rico Pickett pulls out of NBA draft

After taking some time to think about it, Rico Pickett decided the NBA draft will wait one more season.

The former Decatur High School and University of Alabama player entered his name in the draft in April, but pulled it back out before Saturday’s deadline for early entrants.

So, it’s back to Manhattan College for Pickett.

Read more about his decision in Sunday’s paper.    

Without further delay, your Kige Ramsey video of the day.

Rico Pickett enters NBA draft

The long basketball journey for Rico Pickett is now leading towards to the professional ranks. The former Decatur High, Alabama and Manhattan College star entered the NBA draft.

“Rico has expressed interest in pursuing a career in professional basketball and at this time would like to enter his name in the NBA Draft,” Manhattan head coach Barry Rohrssen said in a news release. “He has met with the school’s compliance office to have a full understanding of academic responsibilities and eligibility rules regarding this matter. We at the College support his decision and wish him the best in all future endeavors.”

Pickett scored 17.7 points per game last year at Manhattan. He has until May 8 to withdraw his name. According to the school’s release, he has not hired an agent, so if it doesn’t look like he’ll get drafted. Stay tuned for more.

BREAKING: Rolando McClain sick

Star junior linebacker Rolando McClain did not attend Tuesday morning’s media day and, according to Nick Saban, he is sick.

I didn’t hear exactly what was said, but word quickly spread around the room. Dont’a Hightower, McClain’s roommate this week, said the Decatur native didn’t look well Monday night when he went to bed, but didn’t know exactly was wrong with Alabama’s leading tackler.

Here’s what the Associated Press write about the situation:

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (AP) — Alabama’s All-America linebacker Rolando McClain and backup defensive back Rod Woodson missed media day for the BCS championship game Tuesday morning because of a stomach virus.

Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban described the pair as being “under the weather.”

Saban says the team’s medical staff would decide whether the players would practice Tuesday afternoon. He said they have been given medicine.

He’s hoping the bug will pass within 24 hours and both players will be available when No. 1 Alabama plays second-ranked Texas for the championship on Thursday night.

McClain sports Viking hat

Rolando McClain took it off for his interviews, but the Decatur High graduate left the media room Monday afternoon wearing non-traditional headgear. The Viking helmet he put back on as he walked out of the room wasn’t of the Minnesota football variety.

It was one of those plastic replicas of the headgear worn by the original vikings. See the picture for a similar variation.

It was a penalty for losing a Sunday night NCAA football video game to his former Decatur teammate Jarodiaus Willingham who plays basketball at nearby Shelton State Community College.

McClain joked with media relations officials about wearing it during the television interviews, but the plastic helmet never left the table next to the door until a smiling McClain re-attached it to his head to comply with the terms of his loss.

McClain named SEC defender of week

Not much surprise here. The SEC named Rolando McClain its defensive player of the week for his 12-tackle game at Kentucky. The Decatur product also played a part in three of the four Wildcat turnovers including one interception.

Through five games, McClain holds a comfortable lead in the total tackles list at Alabama. His 38 includes 4 1/2 for loss.

Check back later for an interesting sidebar from McClain’s appearance in front of reporters today in Tuscaloosa.

MEDIA DAY 2: McClain speaks, draws occasional laughter

Decatur High product Rolando McClain spoke to reporters after Saban. Here are his highlights:

  • He joked about not being big on interviews, but he gave some quality answers and was funny at times.
  • The incoming freshman have surprised and impressed McClain with their work ethic.
  • He’s also enjoying his role as a mentor to the younger players although he usually thought of himself as a leader by example, not always by being vocal.
  • Outsiders will be surprised with quarterback Greg McElroy’s maturity and ability, McClain said. His teammates are already aware, but everyone else will learn soon, he promised.
  • He is also a big fan of Tim Tebow.
  • “There is no coach out there better than coach Saban.
  • Read more in Friday’s paper.

Jump in the time machine: Video of McClain in high school

Look what I found on YouTube. Since I wasn’t working here when this was released, I’m not sure how widely viewed this video was so I thought I’d share it with you anyway.

It is from a documentary called “The Recruit” that followed a group of high school seniors from around the state of Alabama as they chose a college. Decatur High’s Rolando McClain was featured in just the first of the three parts of the show. It offers an interesting look back to who one of the nation’s best linebackers was in high school.

Skip to the 3:04 mark if you’re only interested in McClain.

Rolando McClain ranked among nation's best

Although I’m no fan of these rankings and listings of players and teams in June, this one might be interesting to Alabama fans, especially those from Decatur.

The Sporting News has picked Rolando McClain as the 11th best college football player in the country (see complete list here). If you had to click the link to see Tim Tebow was No. 1, shame on you.

Sporting News writer Matt Hayes had this to say about McClain, a Decatur High product:

11. Rolando McClain, LB, Alabama. When McClain was a freshman, one AFC scout told me he was the best linebacker in the SEC. That was two years ago.

Julio Jones came in four spots behind McClain at No. 15.

15. Julio Jones, WR, Alabama. Had a brilliant freshman season despite average quarterback play. What happens if/when the Tide gets an athletic quarterback with a strong arm?