Kidd set to leave NCCU
This time, a bigger bird is leaving the Eagles’ nest.
Stanton Kidd, the third-leading scorer in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference this past season, no longer is a member of N.C. Central’s basketball team. He wants to transfer to a basketball program with a higher profile, and NCCU has granted his release.
“Stanton Kidd is one of my favorite people,” NCCU coach LeVelle Moton said. “I feel blessed to have coached an outstanding basketball player, but more importantly, an even better person. Stanton was such an integral part of our team this past season, and it will be disappointing to see him go.
“He is a super kid with amazing parents and was on schedule to graduate in May. However, this is the business of college basketball, and Stanton, along with his family, decided that he needed to play at a program that will give him national notoriety to pursue his NBA dreams.”
If Kidd goes to another Division I program, NCAA rules would force him to miss the upcoming season.
Kidd’s departure marks the third roster spot that has been vacated by an expected returner since NCCU’s 22-9 season ended in March with a loss to rival N.C. A&T in the MEAC Tournament in Norfolk, Va.
Drimir Ferguson was NCCU’s backup point guard, and DavRon Williams was a reserve forward, but both left the program in order to pursue more playing time elsewhere.
Primetime, not floor time, is why Kidd is moving on, hoping to land in a situation that will attract more looks from the NBA.
“We respect that, and he will be successful wherever he goes,” Moton said. “I certainly appreciate the memorable experiences he gave to our university and our basketball program this past year. We wish him nothing but the best.”
Kidd (6-7, 215) said the speed of Division I basketball was faster than what he was accustomed to at South Plains College, the Texas junior college where he shined before transferring to NCCU.
NCCU reserve forward Karamo “K.J.” Jawara showed Kidd how to flourish in Moton’s system, and Kidd became an impact player for the Eagles, emerging as the team’s No. 2 scorer at 14.7 points per game.
NCCU has plucked talent from higher-end basketball schools, acquiring guards Ray Willis and Ebuka Anyaorah after they had spent time at Oklahoma and Georgia, respectively. Those two were seniors this past season. Willis has exhausted his collegiate eligibility, but Anyaorah is seeking an extra year after being sidelined in November with a broken foot and never returning.
The Eagles still should have a solid core, with point guard Emanuel Chapman needing 10 assists to become NCCU’s career leader. They also will have the MEAC’s second leading scorer in Jeremy Ingram, who led the Eagles in scoring with 15.7 points per game.
NCCU’s Jay Copeland Jr., who transferred from Ball State, likes to hang around the basket and led the Eagles with 20 blocked shots.
Last season, NCCU played against Marquette and Wichita State, teams that earned spots in the NCAA Tournament. As NCCU has gotten better, Moton has said that higher-profile schools have been reluctant to schedule his squad because games against the Eagles no longer are guaranteed wins.