Texas A&M Texarkana getting the total package in Karmelo Clayborne

May 23—Recent Jacksonville High School graduate Karmelo Clayborne became the newest member of the Texas A&M Texarkana Eagle basketball team early Thursday morning.

Clayborne signed a national letter of intent to continue his academic and athletic career at the Texarkana, Texas institution.

Clayborne paused during the ceremony to reflect on his big day.

"There is a lot going through my mind right now," Clayborne said. "I'm thinking about what all I had to go to get this point. I've always dreamed of being able to play basketball at the college level and to be here today (signing) is a blessing."

Clayborne's signing ceremony took place inside the Jacksonville Commons and was witnessed by a large group of family members, teachers and coaches as well as friends and former teammates.

Clayborne, a four-year varsity starter at Jacksonville, guided the Tribe to the playoffs in each of his years as an Indian.

The scoring machine closed the book on his playing days at Jacksonville having scored 1,678 points. He was named as the District 18-4A Most Valuable Player both his senior and junior season. As a sophomore he earned Offensive Player of the Year accolades and as a freshman Clayborne was voted the league's Newcomer of the Year.

Clayborne has also picked up multiple awards for being named to the All-State and All-Region teams.

"I've known Karmelo since he was a second grader," Mark Alexander, who coached Clayborne at Jacksonville, said. "Every time we had open gym, Karmelo was in there shooting. Even as a second-grader he had immaculate form. He loves (basketball); it's his hobby. There is no doubt in my mind that Karmelo will be successful at the next level."

According to Alexander, Texas A&M Texarkana is getting much more than an extremely talented basketball player.

"In his four years of high school, he never received a discipline referral and he never failed a class," Alexander said. "This shows how strong his work ethic is and that he has been raised well."

Clayborne seemed pleased with his decision to join the Eagles.

"I've talked to coach (Ryan) Wall a lot and they have a real nice campus up there; not too big, not too small," Clayborne, who plans on majoring in kinesiology, said. "The dorm is right next to the gym, so any time I need to get some work in, I will have that opportunity.

"I've also been able to talk to some of the players up there and they are cool, real chill, they are good guys."

Clayborne said that it's his understanding that he could play some at point guard or shooting guard.

"Really, wherever they need me to play is alright with me," he said.

Other schools in the Red River Athletic Conference are: Huston-Tillotson, Jarvis Christian, LSU-Alexandria, LSU-Shreveport, Louisiana Christian, North American, Our Lady of the Lake, Paul Quinn, and Xavier of New Orleans