Following a redshirt freshman year as a member of the Howard Hawks basketball program, former standout Forsan athlete Kobe Richardson has decided to continue his athletic and academic career at Mary Hardin-Baylor University.
It will be a new experience for the local athlete as he will now move five hours East to his new home in Belton. Richardson has never lived that far away from home before but is looking forward to an authentic college experience.
“I’m excited to get a full college experience,” Richardson said. “I’m going to miss my mom’s home cooking and doing my laundry over there but I think it’s going to be pretty fun.”
On the court, the Mary Hardin-Baylor Crusaders are a great program that will be led by a brand new head coach. Clif Carroll took over the job a couple of months ago after spending five years as the Head Coach as Sul Ross State. While there, he compiled a 78-55 record along with an American Southwest Conference Championship (ASC) and three ASC West Division titles.
For Richardson, the main reason he decided to choose Mary Hardin-Baylor was because of Carroll. After spending a year learning behind the scenes in Scott Raines’ system, Richardson wanted to get back to a system similar to the one he excelled at in high school.
“When I went to Mary Hardin-Baylor on my visit and talked with Coach Carroll and really liked Coach Carroll,” Richardson said. “The way he goes about things and the way he handles everything. I think the way he coaches and the kind of person that he is is really going to help my style of play very well.”
During his freshman year at Howard, there was so many outstanding athletes that he was forced to redshirt and sit out the entire year. Of course, that is never the preferred route for someone as competitive as Richardson but he took it on the chin and kept working while trying to perfect his craft.
The season did not end how the Hawks would have wanted, but there was so much raw talent on that team that almost the entire roster has now moved on to play at four-year programs. Playing and practicing against ballers of that skill level will only have helped Richardson take his own skills to the next level.
After spending his high school career as the go-to guy that could score with ease, Richardson described his one year at Howard as a “learning experience” and believes the caliber of players he went up against last year will help him be successful at his next stop.
“The guys that I played with at Howard were some ridiculous athletes and probably some of the best players that I’ll ever play against in my life and getting the chance to play and practice with them on a daily basis, two times-a-day, that helped my basketball a lot. My time at Howard just really taught me things that playing in high school couldn’t teach you.”
Richardson has been in the gym this offseason working on scoring closer to the basket. With the size of athletes he now goes up against, it is important to know how to score all over the court and how to handle contact when going through the paint. Even though he was a high-scoring weapon during his time at Forsan, Richardson knows that skill alone will not cut it anymore and he must find out new ways to get on the court.
While there is no telling right now how much Richardson will see their court next season, he is more than thrilled to be continuing his playing career learning under Coach Carroll. The guard knows that he shared the same mindset as his new coach when it comes to the hardwood: win the game.
“I know that he likes to win and he hates to lose and that’s exactly how I am,” Richardson said. “I know that our ultimate goal together is going to be a National Championship.”
After an extremely successful high school career at Forsan and a year spent dipping his toes in the junior college water at Howard, Richardson is now ready to take his next step onto the parquet of a Division III program.
Over the next few months, Richardson will be training hard and refining his skills before he heads off to his new campus. Locals have watched him play for their favorite teams for years but now it is time for this local sports star to head off to his new home.
Shawn Moran is the sports writer at the Big Spring Herald. To contact him, e-mail email@example.com or call 432-263-7331.