News from the Tennessee Valley Sports

In rare move, Samford lands an Alabama native

By Mark Edwards 340-2461

This past basketball season, Samford fielded a men's team with players from Oklahoma City, Miami, Chicago, California, Texas and Arizona.

Now the Bulldogs finally have someone from Alabama.

Priceville High all-state guard Josh Bedwell will sign an NCAA letter of intent with the Division I Bulldogs on Wednesday, giving the program at least one in-state player on scholarship. This past season, Samford had one in-state player, Matt Robertson of Birmingham, but he was a walk-on.

Priceville coach Darrell Haynes said that Samford will get a good one in Bedwell, who made Class 2A all-state as a junior and 4A all-state as a senior.

"I've had him since he was in sixth grade," Haynes said. "He's easy to coach, and always has done what we asked. He's been a coach's dream."

Bedwell's biggest moment came as a junior when Priceville won the 2A Northeast Regional, and he set a regional record by scoring 80 points in the two games. That regional victory vaulted Priceville into the Final Four.

Bedwell piled up the points in his career. He averaged 24.8 points a game as a senior and scored 2,276 in his career, and according to the state high school athletic association's Web site, that ranked No. 13 all-time in Alabama. Bedwell made 335 from 3-point range, which is fifth all-time.

He also averaged 8.2 rebounds and 2.7 assists a game, which gives an indication that Priceville relied upon him for more than scoring.

"His teammates always have been willing to rally around Josh," Haynes said. "They didn't mind getting him the ball. They were a good group of kids who knew their role and Josh's role.

"That made them pleasant to coach."

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