April 18, 2016

BY JOHN D. HOMAN
Logan Media Services

CARTERVILLE - John A. Logan College standout basketball player, Devontavius Payne, has signed a letter of intent to play ball this fall for East Tennessee State University.

A 2014 Carbondale High School graduate, Payne averaged over 21 points a game this past season for a Volunteers team that posted a 24-8 overall record.

Payne chose ETSU over some more easily recognized programs like Memphis, Cincinnati, Loyola, and Northern Iowa to name a few.

"My main priority was going somewhere that I knew I could step in and play right away and help a team win," Payne said. "I didn't want to go somewhere and sit the bench."

ETSU is a member of the Southern Conference and put together a 14-4 league record this past season and 24-12 overall mark. 

The Buccaneers fell six points short of qualifying for the NCAA Tournament, although they did get a chance to play the eventual national champion, falling at Villanova, 103-90, in Philadelphia during the regular season.

Payne said he discussed his options with his father, Eddie, and brother, Dreshean, in addition to Logan coaches Kyle Smithpeters and Zach Carpenter. 

"I'm happy for Devon and proud of him," Smithpeters said. "At the end of the day, he's going where he feels the most comfortable. Give credit to the East Tennessee State coaching staff. They did a great job recruiting him. I am confident that Devon will make a big impact with their program."

Smithpeters said Payne will not be easily replaced.

"It's not just his points we're going to miss. It's the winning culture he helped to create. We're going to miss him a lot, but he should know that what he leaves behind will be long-lasting. Our freshmen learned a lot from him."

Payne said his Logan experience was a good one.

"I'm going to miss my teammates and coaches. Logan was a good fit for me, both in the classroom and basketball floor. I made a lot of friends."

Payne plans to major in sports medicine.