Family, friends, teammates, and coaches gathered in the Manila gymnasium to cheer on Manila guard Carla Kemp as she signed a letter of intent to play basketball at Shawnee Community College in Ullin, Ill.
(Town Crier photo/Revis Blaylock)
She looked at several colleges before making her decision to attend Shawnee.
"I liked the smaller school," she said. "It gives me a chance to go on to the next level."
She is looking forward to playing at Shawnee and hopes to move up to a Division I school for her final two years.
She will be joining a cousin, Colleen Kemp, a 2009 graduate of Manila High School, who plays for the Lady Saints at Shawnee.
During her years at EPC she was part of the state championship team and the state final four.
She made all NEA and All Conference her senior year at Manila. Their team qualified for the Regional Tournament. Carla averaged 12.6 points a game and shot 77 percent from the free throw line during her senior year. She played point guard and shooting guard.
"We wish she had been here more than one year," Manila Coach Jeff Priest said. "Carla is left handed and it gives her an advantage. With her size and athletic ability, she has a chance to step in and help Coach Poyner out right away."
Coach Poyner said he thinks Carla will fit in at Shawnee very well.
"She will be a combo guard playing point guard and shooting guard," Coach Poyner said. "The thing I noticed about Carla is she does a great job seeing the floor and pushing the ball up the floor. We like to shoot threes and she does a good job there, also."
Coach Poyner said his Lady Saints had a pretty good season but suffered injuries around Christmas time.
"Our freshmen had to come in," he said. "They did a great job but they were freshman playing sophomores. I am looking forward to the upcoming season with the mix coming back and the mix coming in. We should be pretty good."
Carla is the daughter of Ruth Light and Danny Kemp.
Following the signing, a reception was held. Cake and punch were served giving guests the opportunity to personally congratulate and wish Carla well as she goes on to play college basketball.