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franklin county times

Russellville native to play at Miss State

Contributed Shelton State’s Travis Daniels (40) puts up a jump shot over a Lawson State defender during a game from the 2011-12 season. Daniels is a former standout at Russellville High School who recently signed with Mississippi State.

Former Russellville High School standout basketball player Travis Daniels signed a national letter of intent to continue his basketball career in the Southeastern Conference last week.

Daniels, who just began his second season at Shelton State Community College in Tuscaloosa, signed with the Mississippi State Bulldogs.

He will move to Starkville, Miss., next spring following the end of his career at Shelton State.

Daniels is a 6-foot-8 forward who played his senior season of high school ball at Russellville.

He said he turned heads with his performance at a Junior College All American camp at the end of his freshman season.

“I started hearing from a lot of D-1 schools after that,” Daniels said.

Getting recruiting out of the way during the early signing period was something Daniels had hoped to do.

“It’s a big relief because I feel like I accomplished something in my life that I never just sat and thought about accomplishing. It’s a good feeling to know I’m going to a good home, a good team, a good school. It was a good situation for me.”

He will be playing for new Bulldogs coach Rick Ray and with two former AAU teammates, Roquez Johnson and Craig Sword.

The time at Shelton State has allowed Daniels to develop his game and he believes that he will transition well to the SEC.

“I can handle the ball. I can shoot the ball. I’ve got a great IQ. I’m very talkative on the court. I’m a very unselfish player. I think I’m a very versatile player. I can play inside and out.

“Junior college helped me a lot. It helped my maturity level. It helped me as a basketball player. It helped me as a person. It helped me as a student-athlete.”

Daniels is familiar with playing alongside D1 players.

In addition to his former AAU teammates on the roster at MSU, he also played AAU ball with former Muscle Shoals star Ralston Turner, who recently transferred from LSU to North Carolina State, and former Russellville teammate Terence Smith, who is a sophomore at Tennessee-Martin.

“I think I am ready for the jump,” he said.

“I want to finish our year on a good note with my teammates at Shelton and then move on and see what I can do.”