One of the state’s best point guards decided to commit to Neosho Junior College on Saturday via Twitter. Buggage will be taking his elite scoring 12 hours away to compete in the best junior college conference in the country, which is the Kansas Jayhawk Junior College Conference.
Schools like Nicholls St, Hinds Junior College, Stillman College, Seward Junior College, Baton Rouge Community College & some others had been pursuing the talented guard over the last month, but he felt like this Neosho was the best situation for him. Had it not been for the coronavirus, Buggage would have had a bevy of more schools recruiting him.
“I love how they (Neosho)showed me how much they wanted me there,” Buggage said. “The head coach (Jeremy Coombs) was very passionate on the phone about how he want me to come in & contribute early. Knowing that Neosho competes in the best junior college conference in the country played a big part into me wanting to go there. If I want to show how good I am, I feel like I need to go against the best of the best.”
Buggage said having Louisiana native Justin Fairman on the coaching staff made his decision even more easier. Fairman is going into his fourth season as Neosho’s assistant coach.
“Coach Fairman been recruiting me hard & we’ve built a really good relationship,” Buggage said. “I feel real comfortable with him especially with him being from where I’m from. I can relate to him a lot.”
Neosho head coach Jeremy Coombs has produced 6 All-Americans, 2 players of the year, 30 NCAA D1 players, & 22 All-Conference players in his 13 years as head coach at the school.
It’s no secret that Buggage was extremely overlooked during his recruiting process because of his 5-foot-9 stature. Finishing his senior year with a 1st-team 5A all-state selection, District 7-5A MVP, & a 26.4 points per game average seem to still not be enough.
“I know a lot of schools seen my size & looked over me,” Buggage said. “I just use stuff like that as motivation to prove them wrong. I know the work that I put in when nobody is around & that’s what I pride myself on.”
Over the last 3 years fans have seen Buggage shoot deep three pointers from a couple feet in front of the half court line like a layup. Many from the Tri-Parish feel that he’s arguably the best shooter to come out the area.
An anonymous district 7-5A head coach expressed his thoughts on Buggage. “He’s the best pure shooter I’ve ever coached against,” he said. “Anytime he comes across half court you know it’s a really really good chance he’ll make it. We sent double teams at him, picked him up 94 feet, ran a box & one, you name it we did it. But he’s just so gifted as a scorer & the way he gets his teammates involved is very underrated.”
Buggage says what he does in games is like muscle memory for him because he practices those shots for hours in the gym.
“My dad has been training me since I was six years old,” Buggage said. “We’ve spent so many hours in the gym over the years that it made me have a strong work ethic. I’m thankful I have a dad that was willing to get in the gym with me like that. A lot of kids don’t have that so it’s just a blessing to have him pushing me the way he did all these years.”
This makes the third guard in the last 4 years from H.L Bourgeois to sign a basketball scholarship. Rayshawn Mart signed with Xavier University in 2017 & led them in scoring this past season 16.8 points per game.
A.J Rainey Jr. signed with Blinn Junior College in 2018 & was the second leading scorer this past season with 14.2 points per game. Rainey has also committed to Nicholls State University for his last two years.
“We have a lot of talent that’s coming from H.L Bourgeois,” Buggage said. “I think it’s special because a lot of kids from our area don’t sign basketball scholarships often. So for my high school to put out 3 prospects in 4 years is big. I’m looking forward to coming back & watch some games because we have some young talent coming up behind me.”
Most kids don’t have a clue what they want to do with their life after they are finished playing ball, but Buggage says he knows exactly what he wants to do.
“I want to come back to my area & help develop kids in basketball,” he said. “I know how important training is because I did it all my life & it paid off. I want to help kids reach their full potential & get them recruited by colleges. I wouldn’t mind being a coach, but I know I would enjoy developing kids much more.”
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