April 16, 2013

Golightly, Sylvester take next step to Murray State

The Express-Star

CHICKASHA — Chickasha High School basketball stars E.J. Golightly and Joey Sylvester will be teammates for a couple more years, as both signed letters of intent to play basketball for Murray State College on Tuesday afternoon in the Chickasha High School library.

Murray State is a two-year community college in Tishomingo, Okla., and competes in Region 2, Divison 1 of the National Junior College Athletic Association.

Murray State is coached by Randy Rutherford, who both played and was an assistant coach at Oklahoma State University.

Sylvester and Golightly had been in contact with Murray State coaches since early in the season, and said that coach Rutherford came off as "very straightforward".

The two visited the college a couple of weeks ago, and had a chance to scrimmage with and meet their future teammates.

"It's a different level," Golightly said of playing against the college players.

Both Golightly and Sylvester said they felt like they did well in the scrimmages.

Sylvester played center during his career at Chickasha, but said he could take on more of a perimeter role with Murray State. At about 6-foot-5, Sylvester said he will play small forward or power forward in college.

The two players' families have been close to each other for a long time, and Sylvester and Golightly said that going to the same college together wasn't necessarily planned all along, but it will be a benefit to their transition.

The two seniors led Chickasha High School to one of the best seasons in the program's last 40 years.

The Fightin' Chicks advanced to the state semifinals, beating No. 3 Southeast in the first round of the state tournament before losing to Bishop McGuinness.

It isn't all about athletics with these two players, however, as both of them were named to the Oklahoma Basketball Coaches Association Academic All State first team.

Golightly is the son of Melanie and Eric Golightly, and the brother of Serenity and Dominique Golightly, who was an All Conference player for the Lady Chicks as a freshman.

Sylvester is the son of Justin and Kristi Sylvester, and the brother of Matt and Taylor, who was the Lady Chicks' leading shot-blocker as a freshman center this season.