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Primes following classmates

Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune Madera South Stallions basketball player Hakeem Primes, seated, is surrounded by family and friends after signing his National Letter of Intent to play basketball at York College in Nebraska, the third Stallion athlete to sign with the school this year.


With options at local community colleges, Madera South’s Hakeem Primes knew there were more opportunities.

When his basketball teammate Junior Segura signed a National Letter of Intent to York College in Nebraska to run track, Primes figured why not see if the coach was interested.

“Junior notified me of York,” Primes said. “I sent the coach my highlight video and he got back to me two days later.”

After communicating with the York College men’s basketball coach, Primes signed his National Letter of Intent to the college, joining Segura and girls soccer player Makayla Martinez at the school.

“They can motivate me to do work and not quit on it,” Primes said. “Junior and I have been together since the fifth grade, so it’s a blessing.”

Primes completed a outstanding senior season when he was named The Madera Tribune’s boys basketball Most Valuable Player and earned All-county/Metro Athletic Conference recognition. Primes’ options were to go play basketball at Reedley and Bakersfield college.

“York is definitely bigger than the junior colleges,” he said. “To go out of state was an even bigger opportunity. Signing the letter of intent was like another step. I knew I could do it, but it was a matter of time of how it was going to go down.”

Primes hasn’t discussed with the coaches where he wants to play, but he would like to be point guard to be a playmaker.

“I’m trying to work on shooting the ball more consistently and being a playmaker,” he said. “I want to also work on being a leader. It takes a lot to do and that’s what a lot of coaches want.”

Primes excelled late in games, taking over the fourth quarter for the Stallions.

“People told me I had to take over at times, but sometimes you have to be a leader so I had to distribute at times,” he said. “Coach (Jody) Sharp helped me out a lot to develop a long way.”

Primes will major in kinesiology to become a trainer and/or a coach.

By signing his National Letter of Intent, Primes is relaxed to know what he will be doing for the next four years, but knows he still has a lot of work to do.

“I wouldn’t say I’m relaxed because I know I still have a lot of work to do.” He said. “However, I’m relaxed knowing where I am going to go.”

Primes wasn’t thinking about going to play basketball in college last year. However, a good senior season gave him confidence he could play college basketball.

“Last year, I thought I wasn’t good enough,” he said. “This year, I was emailing coaches to get where I wanted to be. College was always a dream for me to go to the next step.”

“To achieve that goal is a blessing, honestly,” he said. “Words can’t describe it.”


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