Spanish Fort senior Colby McAllister sees work ethic pay off with Citadel scholarship

Work ethics have never been an issue for Spanish Fort senior Colby McAllister.

This is largely the reason he signed on to continue his basketball career at the Citadel next year.

“What sets Colby apart has always been his work ethic,” said former Daphne coach Cedric Yelding. “When I coached him in grade one and grade two, he was at school at 5:30 am, just wanting to shoot. Then he would come back at 7 p.m. and just try to improve his skills.

“Honestly it got to the point where his dad (Jason) and I had to shut it down for a while because he was working, working, working. When you have a kid with that much desire and the right level of talent, you know they are going to level up and be successful.

McAllister, a 6-foot-4 shooting guard, was honored at Spanish Fort on Tuesday for signing his national letter of intent. After playing for Yelding for two years at rival Daphne, McAllister transferred to Spanish Fort and helped the Toros win the Class 6A title game a year ago.

Signing his NLI was the culmination of a long-held dream for McAllister.

“In sixth grade, I put all my other sports aside at one point and decided I was going to fight basketball,” McAllister said. “I always promised my mother (Tanyr) that she would watch me on TV someday, and I just lived to keep that promise. I just wanna be the best.

A year ago as a junior, McAllister was averaging 16.2 points, 6.1 rebounds and 2.2 assists for the Toros. He was a third team All-State 6A selection and a second team All-Coastal AL.com selection.

“The sky is the limit,” said Fort Spain coach Jimbo Tolbert. “We’re talking about the fundamentals, the X’s and the Bones and how that translates into programs. The only thing he can do is shoot basketball and if you can shoot basketball you can play anywhere.

Tolbert said he liked the fit for McAllister under the guidance of veteran Citadel coach Duggar Baucom. Under Baucom’s leadership, the Bulldogs have scored the most 3-point field goals (2,052) in NCAA Division I in the past six seasons, the only Division I program to eclipse the bar. of the 2000 in this category during this period.

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“The fact that Coach Baucom is at the Citadel and that he’s a very successful attacking spirit is huge,” said Tolbert. “They led the nation in scoring. While at the Citadel, they led the NCAA in 3 points scored. It’s up to Colby’s wheelhouse. He will continue to work and work very hard. He has done it up to this point. It’s starting to pay off. If he keeps his head down and stays focused on what only he knows, again the sky is the limit.

McAllister said he liked the vibe of the Citadel campus when he visited.

“It was like being at home,” he said. “When I went on my unofficial, I felt a brotherhood there. They treated me very well and they play my basketball style. They lead the league in goals and 3 points, and I think that suits me perfectly. “

McAllister and his senior colleague Kolby Horace may have to take on a bigger load this year if Spanish Fort hopes to return to Birmingham. The Toros have lost two senior starters – point guard Carl Fauntroy and center / forward Cameron Keshock – to injuries even before the start of the season.

“When they see key guys fall, they understand their roles take on greater meaning,” Tolbert said. “It can vary from night to night. Do we need a lot of goals or do we need top notch defense? Do we need to bounce back? Do we need leadership? Their roles are further amplified as leaders of this team. They have a good pulse on this team and this program. They will understand what to do.

McAllister said he didn’t feel the extra pressure from the injuries.

“It hurts to lose these guys, but we have to keep playing and hooping,” he said. “You can’t let the pressure get to you. Go ahead and play. It’s a game.”

Spanish Fort’s Colby McAllister (12) hoops and suffers a foul in the first half of a warm-up basketball game against Fairhope on Friday January 29, 2021 in Fairhope, Alabama (Mike Kittrell/[email protected])

Edward K. Thompson