Texas power has a flavor of Baltimore

Kidd, Edwards, Spence keep South Plains atop NJCAA poll

  • Baltimore's Derrell Edwards, Corey Spence, and Stanton Kidd, shown left to right, have traveled 1,705 miles from home to play college ball.
Baltimore's Derrell Edwards, Corey Spence, and Stanton… (SOUTH PLAINS COLLEGE PHOTO )
March 07, 2012|By Steve Gesuele, The Baltimore Sun

The South Plains men's basketball team — 29-0 and ranked No. 1 in the National Junior College Athletic Association poll — is the best college squad that you probably have never heard of. But you might have heard of three of its players.

Stanton Kidd, Derrell Edwards and Corey Spence grew up 1,705 miles away from Levelland, Texas — in Baltimore.

Kidd played at Edmondson and Edwards and Spence teamed up at Dunbar; together they've helped the Texans earn their 11th Western Junior College Athletic Conference championship.

Starting Thursday with a game against Temple College in Lubbock, Texas, South Plains will go for its first Region 5 championship since 2007-08, the year of the school's only NJCAA championship.

Baltimore has long been a part of the team's success.

"I've always had a lot of players from that area," said coach Steve Green.

Kidd, a sophomore, is the most accomplished of this year's trio. The 6-foot-7 forward, who helped Edmondson to a Baltimore City championship, is averaging 10.9 points and 6.4 rebounds for South Plains, including a career-high 24 points Nov. 11 against Trinity Valley Community College.

The future North Carolina Central player has been "outstanding," according to Green, who calls him "one of the best four or five players in our conference."

Green concedes that he is lucky to have Kidd on his team. The coach stumbled upon him while on a recruiting trip in Baltimore to look at Edwards.

"We started recruiting Derrell two years ago, so we came up there to an open gym. ... In the same gym that day was Stanton Kidd," Green said.

Edwards, a 6-2 sophomore guard, is averaging 4.4 points but has shown flashes of brilliance, with games of 19, 18 and 13 points.

Spence, a 5-9 freshman guard who won a Maryland Class 1A state championship while at Dunbar with Edwards, has scored just 12 points this season, but he called being part of an undefeated junior college team "a blessing."

The three players have developed a bond that goes beyond basketball.

Edwards said his time at South Plains has matured him as a man.

"Being so far away from home, it's kind of tough. It's something you have to adapt to," he said. "Having these guys from home makes it much easier."

xcxsgesuele@baltsun.com

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