Wingate bound

Cureton plans to play for Bulldogs
Apr. 23, 2013 @ 07:50 PM

Two of Cuthbertson High’s most accomplished basketball players have committed to play at the next level.

According to Cavaliers coach Mike Helms, senior forward Isaiah Cureton plans to sign a scholarship with Wingate University while senior wing Cornelius Stradford is headed to Catawba Valley Community College.

Both players will sign their scholarships at the school next Wednesday.

Cureton and Stradford helped Cuthbertson reach the 2A state title game each of the last two seasons and compile a 60-6 record during that stretch. They were both four-year varsity players.

“Both of those guys were very important to the success of our program,” said Helms. “I think they will both have an opportunity to make immediate impacts at the schools they are attending.”

Cureton, a 6-foot-4, 190-pounder, averaged 13.4 points, 6.9 rebounds and 2.3 steals per game during the 2012-13 season. He improved his averages from his junior year, when he posted 9.6 points and 5.0 rebounds per contest.

“I think Isaiah is going to be really successful in college,” said Helms. “He’s a kid that can help you win games in so many ways. He doesn’t have to always have the ball in his hands to make an impact. He just does a lot of things well that will translate to the college game.”

Wingate is coming off a standout season, when it finished 23-9 and advanced to the Division II NCAA tournament for the second straight year.

“I think Isaiah was attracted to the fact that they’ve done well,” said Helms of Cureton choosing the Bulldogs. “Wingate was on him early and actually offered at this time last year, but he just wasn’t ready. It had nothing to do with Wingate, he just wasn’t ready to commit. When you’re used to winning it’s hard to go the other way and he thinks Wingate has a chance to be pretty good for years to come.”

Stradford averaged 8.5 points and 1.7 steals per game off the bench as a senior.

The 6-foot-1, 175-pounder is joining a CVCC team that finished 21-11 last season.

“Corn is just full of natural ability,” said Helms. “His ceiling is so high and he has a lot of room to improve. “When he stays focused he’s really, really good. He likes to defend and he always want to guard one of the better players on the other team. He likes a challenge.”