Corey Boston and Tae Burton have decided that they are not ready to be done playing basketball with each other.
The last two Opelika-Auburn News Player of the Year recipients led LaFayette to a No. 1 ranking for a majority of the season this year.
Now they will tackle a new challenge together as they have each committed to play at Snead State Community College.
“We didn’t care so much about the size of the town,” LaFayette coach Obadiah Threadgill said. “We didn’t care so much about any other things outside of school and ball. That is really what helped drive their decisions.”
Burton averaged 15.3 points, 4.1 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game this season, while Boston had 13.7 points, 4.9 rebounds and 6 assists per game.
“They already know how each other play,” Threadgill said. “They will already be looking for each other, so I’m thinking they are going to be a special tandem at Snead.
“They’ve just been a godsend to me and this program.”
Now that the decision is past him, Burton is ready to hit the ground running.
“I’m ready to go there right now and get to work,” Burton said.
Behind Boston and Burton, LaFayette cruised to an undefeated regular season.
They cruised through the state playoffs with wins by 35, 20 and 35 points getting them to the state semifinals, but heartbreak struck there. Barbour County upset LaFayette, 64-62, to advance to the state championship game.
While the way their careers ended stung, Threadgill says that doesn’t diminish anything that his explosive backcourt has accomplished while at LaFayette.
“Both of those guys have been playing varsity since the ninth grade,” Threadgill said. “Both of them are constantly looking to improve and all our young players saw that drive and motivation to be the best they could be.
“And they saw me jump down those guys’ throats. So if your best players can take some hard criticism, how can everyone else not take it?”
Snead State went 20-12 last season overall and 9-7 in the Alabama Community College Conference. They advanced to the ACCC Tournament Championship Game before falling 72-68 to Shelton State.
“The fact that we lost to Barbour County by two in a game we should have won, I think it puts a little more fire under us,” Boston said. “What is really crazy is that the two best players on Barbour County’s team, they are going to Shelton State. I know that we have to go harder because we want to get some revenge on them.”
Threadgill believes that the way his team plays and the competition it faces throughout the schedule has prepared both his guards to take that next step.
With Snead State located in Boaz, they are excited to stay so close to home for themselves and the fans.
“I think the LaFayette fans love it more than we do,” Boston said. “They can make to trip and watch both of us play. It is big for me and Tae, and it is big for the community of LaFayette.”
Threadgill anticipates Snead State being just another chapter in the careers of Burton and Boston. He looks forward to seeing them succeed there before moving up to play at a bigger school.
“I wanted both to go somewhere where they can be happy and they can really learn to play basketball on a higher level,” Threadgill said. “Both of them have professional aspirations. I wanted them to get somewhere where they can learn and develop.”
Boston is eager to prove that despite his smaller frame at 5-foot-11 and 154 pounds, he can compete at the highest level.
“I think colleges around here … they know about me, but I just feel like they think I’m too small to play at that level,” Boston said. “So by me going to junior college for a year, I get to show these coaches that at my size I can still compete. It isn’t going to hold me back from getting where I want to go.”