Jets’ Rico Simmons signs with Mississippi Valley State University
South Georgia Technical College standout sophomore guard Rico Simmons has signed a letter of intent to continue his education and athletic career at Mississippi Valley State University in Itta Bena, Mississippi, the heart of the Mississippi Delta.
“I am very proud of Rico Simmons,” said South Georgia Technical College Jets head coach Travis Garrett. “When Rico came to South Georgia Tech he had two goals. He wanted to earn his associate degree and also have the opportunity to continue his basketball career at a NCAA Division I school. Both of those dreams came true today.”
Garrett has placed several other ball players and former Jets in the Southwest Athletic Conference. They have all had good success at the four-year level and he expects no less from Rico Simmons.
Simmons, a 5’ 9” sophomore from Wilkinson County, Georgia, was a standout for head coach Travis Garrett and the Jets during his freshman and his sophomore seasons. He was selected as one of two Most Valuable Players for the Jets his sophomore season. The Jets posted a 20 – 12 overall record and finished second in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Region XVII tournament in 2017 – 2018.
Simmons, who was the GCAA Freshman of the Year in 2015 and the MVP for the Jets as a freshman, sat out the 2016 – 2017 season. He returned for the 2017 – 2018 season and led the team in scoring with 16.3 points per game. He was the team’s best free throw shooter with an 83.3% success rate from the foul line. He averaged 3.9 rebounds per game, 5.6 assists and 2.3 steals each game. He started all 32 games this season for the Jets.
He also set a new school record for the most points scored in a single game with 42 points in the Jets 119 – 108 victory over Miami Dade College in Miami this season. The previous high had been 38 points scored in a single game. He was also selected as the GCAA Player of the week for that accomplishment.
Simmons will become a Mississippi Valley State University Devil. The Devils finished the 2017 – 2018 season with a 4 – 28 record and were 4 – 15 in the Southwestern Athletic Conference. They advanced to the SWAC quarterfinals this season. The Devils play Alabama A & M, Alabama State University, Alcorn State University, Jackson State University, Grambling State University, Prairie View A & M Athletics, Southern University, Texas Southern University, and University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff in the SWAC Conference.
“I am very excited about this opportunity,” said Simmons. “Mississippi Valley State University did not have a great record this season, but I am hoping that means that I can come in and have an impact and help change that. This is something that I have dreamed of doing all my life.”
Simmons also had good things to say about his education and athletic opportunities at South Georgia Tech. “I can’t say enough about how great South Georgia Tech is,” said Simmons. “I encourage everyone who is looking to play competitive basketball and get a good education to come to South Georgia Tech. I am very fortunate to have been able to come here and be a member of the Jets family.”