As the summer months were dwindling, Maria Bagwell was beginning to think there was going to be an end to her hopes of signing an athletic scholarship with a college.
“I was all set to walk on at (University of) Memphis,’’ said Bagwell, a recent graduate at Hume-Fogg Academic Magnet and one of Nashville’s premier guards in girls basketball the past season. “As far as signing with someone, nothing was happening.’’
Along came Freed-Hardeman.
“I was playing for my AAU team, the Tennessee Dream, in an AAU tournament in Cool Springs near Franklin a couple of weeks ago,’’ she said. “Some of the coaches from Freed-Hardeman were in the stands and they told me later they assumed I had already signed with someone. They asked me if I had signed, and I told them ‘no.’
Thus began a whirlwind process, according to Bagwell, who signed with Freed (located in West Tennessee) Wednesday at Hume-Fogg. “The Marshall County coaches told Freed that I was someone they would want to look at, they were really nice.’’
“The past 20 days have been very hectic but very rewarding,’’ she said.
Bagwell helped key a stunning 50-49 win over Marshall County in the region tournament last March in the region tournament, knocking the top-ranked, unbeaten and defending AA state champs out of the tourney.
Hume-Fogg used the momentum of that win to springboard into the girls AA state tournament. It was the school’s first visit to state since 1927.
“A wait of 82 years was long enough,’’ Bagwell said at the time.
But college coaches weren’t chasing her down with pen and paper — until late July.
“After I talked to the coaches, I took a visit to the Freed campus last Wednesday, and I met some of the players and really felt at home there,’’ she said. “The coaches (including veteran head coach Dale Neal) said they would like to sign me, and that was when I committed. It was a real blessing, especially to get that scholarship help.’’
“We had heard from a couple of smaller schools in Kansas City and in North Carolina,’’ said Marcus Bagwell, her father. “She was going to walk on at Memphis, and this came on pretty suddenly after the coaches saw her play at Cool Springs.’’
Baskin named Hillsboro aide
Bobby Baskin, who had been an assistant coach at McGavock High the past two seasons, has been named assistant at Hillsboro High under new coach Dennis Moreno. Baskin will coach the Burros offensive line and special teams.