LUBBOCK, TX - For most, junior college is a second chance. An opportunity to wipe the slate clean, and press the restart button.
That's exactly the case for South Plains basketball players Jordan Brangers and Josh Webster.
"Coming out of high school I didn't have a lot of offers," Texans' sophomore point guard Josh Webster said.
Entering Christian Brothers College High School in St. Louis, MO, Webster was 5-foot-3. By his senior year he had shot up to 6-foot, but his stock with coaches didn't see that same meteoric rise.
"That's when I made a choice to go a different route," Webster said.
But for South Plains sophomore guard Jordan Brangers, the road was arguably that much tougher. A rocky road saw Brangers drop out of Louisville Eastern High School. He sacrificed his final two year of high school basketball, and was unsure if it would be the end of his career.
"Honestly at that point in my life I wasn't sure what I was going to do,"Brangers said. "I really didn't see myself playing college basketball after that."
However, that was before he picked up the phone. On the other end was South Plains head coach Steve Green.
"Coach Green gave me the opportunity to come down here, 15 hours away. It was a big time second chance. It just really uplifted my spirits," Brangers said.
But it wasn't the only call he would receive. Brangers brother Jermaine Ruttley played for Texas Tech head coach Chris Beard last season at Arkansas-Little Rock. And as fate would have it, a dash of good luck and hard work brought Brangers and Webster another break.
"Jermaine had told me that he got the UNLV job, and he was like he actually just left and went to Texas Tech. So I was like, that's crazy man," Brangers said. "What if he comes out here and tries to recruit some of us."
And that's exactly what happened.
After traveling a combined 2,030 miles to continue their college careers right here at the Texan Dome, it turns out that their journey to the Division-I level was much shorter. This time to a school just 30 miles down the road, at a school that one of them had never heard of!
"Then I looked it up and Texas Tech was only 30 minutes down the road," Brangers said.
"I'll listen to Jermaine no matter what. But when Jermaine tells me that 'hey my brother can play,' it was more than just one of those 'what did you say?' It was like, 'come here, come here, sit down and turn your phone off, what?' Then Josh is just a true floor general. He knows how to run a team on both offense and defense," Texas Tech head coach Chris Beard said.
However, there is still unfinished business. The Texans rank No. 1 in the last NJCAA rankings. A perfect 20-0 on the year. And before Beard gets them to make the trip down highway 114, there is still one goal in mind.
"Win a national championship," Webster said.
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