August 27, 2014

BY JOHN D. HOMAN
Logan Media Services

CARTERVILLE – One final piece to the puzzle. That might be the best way to describe this week’s signing of St. Louis native. Ronnell Ray Crossland, to the John A. Logan College men’s basketball roster.

Listed as a 6-foot-6 forward, Crossland adds strength to a strong frontline that already features the likes of Russell Woods (6-9), Jordan Martin (6-8), Tamas Bruce (6-8) and Tyler Scott (6-6).

Crossland’s older brother, Connell, was a standout player for the Vols in 2011 and then transferred to Texas Christian University at the conclusion of his sophomore year.

“We are very fortunate to pick up a player of Ray’s caliber this late in the recruiting season,” said JALC head coach Kyle Smithpeters. “Ray is a very skilled basketball player and a tough kid. He was actually recruited by several SEC and Big Ten schools to play football, but decided he wanted to play basketball instead. And we couldn’t be happier.”

Crossland played varsity ball as a sophomore, but missed all of his junior year and the first semester of his senior year before returning to his high school team. He was then instrumental in helping guide Hazelwood Central to a state playoff berth.

“Ray was around when Connell played here, so he has an understanding of what we’re all about. To me, it stays a lot about our program that he would want to come and play where his brother played. It makes you think that maybe you’re doing something right.”

Crossland said his brother was definitely an influence on him.

“Connell told me he really enjoyed playing here at Logan for Coach Kyle and that he learned a lot, which helped to prepare him for the next level. That’s what I want to do. I want to win, too, which is why I am here. I also want to learn and plan to work hard to get better. I love to compete.”