Stanton Kidd signs with North Carolina Central
Ever since high school, Stanton Kidd has played with a "huge chip" on his shoulder.
The 6-foot-8, 215-pound forward was lightly recruited out of Edmondson, overlooked in favor of some of his more highly ranked Baltimore City classmates, and largely forgotten when he left town for junior college in the summer of 2010.
“Coming from Baltimore, with all the talent we’ve got -- Josh Selby, Will Barton, Roscoe Smith, C.J. Fair -- it’s hard coming out of that world because they were the big focus,” Kidd said. “I had my fame there, too. Guys knew I could ball. But I kind of got overlooked from the spotlight.”
At JUCO powerhouse South Plains College in Levelland, Texas, Kidd got his chance to shine. While he hasn’t been the centerpiece of the Texans like he was with the Red Storm, Kidd has received ample opportunities to prove to Division I programs that he could play at that level.
On Wednesday, Kidd’s persistence with the game paid off. The former Baltimore Sun first-team All-Metro player signed a letter of intent to attend North Carolina Central.
“It feels good to know that you’ve got somewhere to go after junior college,” Kidd said. “I just fell in love with [North Carolina Central on] the visit. I went home, thought about it for awhile. I had a couple other schools that wanted me. But I had to go [someplace where I wouldn’t] play in nobody’s shadow. With me going to N.C. Central now, I’m going to be in the spotlight. It’s going to be a real experience for me. Now I can take the game-winning shot, get my teammates involved and make plays.”
Kidd averaged 23 points, 12 rebounds and six assists for Edmondson during the 2009-10 season, leading the Red Storm to their first-ever Baltimore City Division I championship. He received a smattering of Division I interest – mostly from Morgan State – but he came up short of a qualifying SAT score and headed to junior college.
At South Plains, Kidd had a solid freshman season, averaging a team-high 5.9 rebounds and scoring 7.9 points per game. Kidd, who registered three double-doubles and played 23 minutes per game, helped the Texans to the Region 5 junior college tournament.
Most of Kidd’s recruiting process took place this fall, thanks to his performance at a couple key JUCO showcases. Bradley, Central Connecticut State, Indiana State, Iona, Quinnipiac and Wichita State were among the programs that inquired about Kidd, but North Carolina Central pursued him the hardest from the start.
“N.C. Central is the only one I visited,” Kidd said. “It seemed like when other schools were jumping on me, it seemed like I was their second choice. [I think they thought], ‘If we can’t get this kid I really wanted, let’s see if we can go get Stanton Kidd.’ I wanted to go to a team where I was a priority. I was N.C. Central’s priority. I knew they wanted me.”
The Eagles coaches have told Kidd that he’ll play the 3 and the 4. He should have a prominent role as a junior for North Carolina Central, which finished 15-15 last season – its first non-losing year since 2004-05 – and 10-6 in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. Playing for a MEAC school means that Kidd will get three chances a year (at Morgan State, at Coppin State and at UMES) to play in his home state.
“That’s a bonus,” Kidd said. “I already know what kind of atmosphere it’s going to be when I come back home and play Coppin, Morgan or UMES.”
Kidd is off to a strong start to his sophomore season. The Texans are 2-0, and Kidd scored 10 points in the first win of the season. The former Red Storm star is hoping for a JUCO national championship this year, and two postseason appearances at his future college home.
“Oh man, I’m bringing everything that I’ve got,” Kidd said. “I’m coming to leave it all on the floor. I’m trying to promise a MEAC championship, going to bring them to The Dance. I’m trying to get to The Dance. We’ve got to work hard, but I’m going to get there.”
Photo of Stanton Kidd courtesy of South Plains College.