Corey Gregg is turning to the next chapter in his college basketball career.
Following one year at Black Hawk East Junior College in Illinois, the former Ashland standout is venturing closer to home. He signed with the University of Charleston, a Division-II program in Charleston, W.Va., on Wednesday.
At Black Hawk, the 6-foot-3 Gregg played point guard for most of the season. He excelled, averaging 14.4 points, 5.9 rebounds and 5.1 assists per game. According to the former high school forward/center, he drained 51 percent of his shot attempts, including a 41-percent clip from 3-point range, and sank 91 percent of his free throws at Black Hawk.
“It was a good experience for the most part,” said Gregg, who has just one more week of the semester remaining in Illinois. “I transformed my game a lot.”
Gregg’s team struggled, especially after head coach B.J. McCullum suffered a stroke before midseason. He recovered, but won’t return as coach, said Gregg.
Gregg considered leaving after one semester partly because of his team’s lack of success, but decided to stick it out. He’s glad he did, because he continued to gain valuable experience and garner attention from several schools, including a few Division I looks.
With numerous D-II invitations, Gregg said it came down to a making a list. Charleston, which went 19-9 last year and is a program on the rise, ended up being a no-brainer.
“I just looked at all the positives and negatives of each place,” he said. “And I loved Charleston. I’ll get a chance to play, and maybe start, all three years. I loved their coach, Mark Downey. It was a really nice campus, a full-ride scholarship ... and it’s closer to home.”
In his time as a Rose Hill and Ashland varsity player, Gregg accumulated more than 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds. He was named the 16th Region Tournament’s Most Valuable Player in 2012 in spite of the Tomcats falling to Rowan County in the championship.
Gregg and Ashland coach Buddy Biggs have maintained a close relationship. Gregg said Biggs-run practices helped create a smooth transition into the college game.
“Our practices at Ashland were harder than the ones here (at Black Hawk),” Gregg said. “Overall, they were more intense, more fast-paced. The up-paced tempo helped me the most.”
Gregg still practices with the Tomcats when he’s in town, and he is slated to work out with the team this summer.
AARON SNYDER can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (606) 326-2664.