Pierce going Coastal

BY DEXTER MCCREE, Feature Writer

ST. PETERSBURG – Driving down the middle of the lane gets David Pierce III cheers from the crowd, which he hopes to continue in Conway, S.C., where he will join the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers men’s basketball team as one of the latest 2018 freshmen signees.

“It feels good to know that I have a chance to play college basketball. There were times that I didn’t know if this would be a reality,” said David. “I was brought up to believe that hard work will get you anywhere and the favor of God will keep you there. I’m very thankful and grateful right now for the people who have guided me and the opportunity in front of me. I’m looking forward to my senior year and then playing at Coastal.”

Coastal Carolina University men’s basketball team, led by head Coach Cliff Ellis who is in his 11th season, currently competes in the Sun Belt Conference. In 2015, the Chanticleers played in the NCAA Tournament and that year they were also Sun Belt Conference champions.

Famous alumnus includes Dustin Johnson, a professional golfer who is the current number one ranked player on the PGA Tour, Josh Norman, a cornerback for the Washington Redskins and “Diamond” Dallas Page, an American semi-retired professional wrestler.

David is a humble and quiet kid with strong family support. His mother, Nykesha Davis, arranges her plans so she can attend each of his games, adorned with a “Pierce # 1 Fan” shirt or one of her other support shirts in her wardrobe.

His father, who played in the 90s on the Boca Ciega High School basketball team that was ranked #4 in the state-ranking poll, taught his son how to play the game. David A. Pierce Sr. was in the stands during those days supporting David, Jr. and cheering his every move.

Today, granddad sits in the stands of Gibbs High School, rooting and admiring his grandson’s every move. He is as proud today as his was 20 years ago.

David Pierce III“David is the most humble kid that I’ve ever seen. He loves people but more importantly, he loves God,” said Pierce Sr. about his grandson.  “He’s had a good upbringing and that’s important. He is teachable and he loves to learn. It has been a pleasure helping to raise him.”

Larry Murphy, head basketball coach at Gibbs High, shares those same sentiments regarding his star player who averages 23 points, 4.8 rebounds, 2.0 assist and 1.4 steals per game. Murphy, who is in his 17th year of coaching, states that David is the most coachable kid that he has ever instructed. Considering the many top players that have come through the Gladiator program, that is quite an acclaim.

“In the three years that I’ve coached David, I have never had any verbal backlash, lack of effort or reports of misconduct from him,” said Murphy. He is a pleasure to coach and he does everything that a coach asks him to do. He is a model high school player and an even better person.”

David has one more season to astonish his high school fans. For the fans who like heart, hustle and talented play, that can be very exciting. For coaches having to strategize for him or players competing against him, it could make for long and restless nights.

With David’s goal of playing college ball now secure, his driving down lanes and scoring may bring out more cheers for the fans watching and waiting for him to go Coastal.

To reach Dexter McCree, email dmccree@theweeklychallenger.com

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