ROCKINGHAM — When Richmond Senior basketball standout C.J. McDaniel plays his first collegiate game in Misenheimer, he won’t be the only Raider alum donning the team’s black and gold uniforms.
McDaniel signed his letter of intent to Pfeiffer University in the school library early Wednesday afternoon. There, the senior guard will play alongside former Richmond standout Josh Calhoun — who graduated in 2014.
Although the two never played together while in Rockingham, they did talk about getting the chance to share the court at Pfeiffer when McDaniel went and watched a game this past season.
That possibility became a reality once McDaniel put the pen to paper Wednesday.
“It’s a blessing. My mom told me to keep my head in my books and I could go anywhere I wanted to go,” he said. “I liked the community (at Pfeiffer). There’s nice people and it’s a great environment.”
During his senior season, McDaniel was one of Richmond’s three captains who helped the team to 20 wins and a second-round appearance in the state playoffs. He ended the year as the team’s third-leading scorer (12.6 points per game) with 37 three-pointers made — shooting 65 percent from the foul line.
The future Falcon scored a season-high 23 points against Pinecrest in the Southeastern Conference tournament semifinal matchup. He led the Raiders in scoring in six games this past season and had at least 20 points on five occassions.
“He was the heart and soul (of the team),” assistant basketball coach Donald Pettigrew said. “He was one of the guys who did anything that you’d ask him to do…He’s going to be missed here.”
Not only can McDaniel put the ball in the basket, he’s also a reliable defender and rebounder. He recorded five blocks in a 120-83 win over Cheraw in January. Head coach David Laton called McDaniel one of the best rebounding guards he’s ever coached.
His length and athleticism made a huge impact for a Richmond team that broke many records in the 27 games it played this past season. The Pfeiffer coaching staff is hoping to get that same kind of production.
“They want me to be somebody who looks to score and just help the team win,” McDaniel said. “They play the same way we played here, so I think that’s the upside to it.”
Pfeiffer also runs “The System” that the Raiders have used over the last two seasons. McDaniel adjusted quickly, and well, to the fast-paced style of play and looks to fit right in when he steps on the court.
And with the Falcons losing six seniors to graduation, Pettigrew believes McDaniel’s transition will be smooth.
“He’s going to be a good asset to Pfeiffer next year. The coach is looking for big things,” Pettigrew added. “He’s worked hard and this is well deserved. I’m just excited for him.”
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Richmond basketball player C.J. McDaniel, center, signed his letter of intent to Pfeiffer Universty in the school library Wednesday afternoon. McDaniel averaged 12.6 points per game during his senior campaign, which was good enough for third best on the team.