Lady Warriors Ink Three With Georgia Northwestern

LFO head coach Dewayne Watkins and GNTC athletic director David Stephenson were among those on hand as Octavia Harris, Gloria Silmon and Kirsten Johnson signed on to play basketball next season for the Georgia Northwestern Lady Bobcats.
LFO head coach Dewayne Watkins and GNTC athletic director David Stephenson were among those on hand as Octavia Harris, Gloria Silmon and Kirsten Johnson signed on to play basketball next season for the Georgia Northwestern Lady Bobcats.

(Fort Oglethorpe, GA) – For the past four years, Octavia Harris, Gloria Silmon and Kirsten Johnson have laughed, cried and played together as members of the Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe basketball team.

They saw no reason to end that relationship any time soon.

On Friday, the Lady Warrior trio traded in their red and black for the navy and silver of Georgia Northwestern as all three signed papers to play for the Lady Bobcats.

“We’re very fortunate to have three young ladies who want to continue pursue their college education and play basketball here in the local area,” said LFO head coach Dewayne Watkins. “All three have great potential to be good players at the next level. I look forward to seeing them continue to develop as players and as potential role models for future Lady Warriors.”

Harris was a four-year starter at LFO and averaged 5.9 points a game as a senior to go with a team-best 7.9 rebounds per contest. Blessed with a good outside shot, Harris has scoring potential at both the wing and in the post.

“I’m really excited about (playing for GNTC) and I’m really looking forward to it,” Harris explained. “It’s really close to home for me, which I like.”

Harris said she is considering a career as an ultrasound tech.

Silmon was a defensive specialist and a solid rebounder in the paint, pulling down 4.5 a game. She said she plans to study sports science and pursue a career in the health care profession.

“Today is really exciting and I’m just glad to get it done and out of the way,” she said. “I like the fact that it’s close to home so I can be near my dad, who is my best friend. (Octavia and Kirsten) are like sisters to me and I don’t know what I’d do if they weren’t coming to play ball with me.”

Like Silmon, Johnson didn’t play ball for the Lady Warriors’ program in middle school, but quickly developed solid range and became the team’s best 3-point shooter this past season.

“I really like playing basketball so I’m happy that I get to go on and play in college and knowing that the program is moving to Rossville is nice too,” Johnson said. “I also want to become an ultrasound tech and they have the classes I need there to pursue that.”

“Gloria is an extremely hard worker and if she continues to develop, she will make an impact in the future,” Watkins added. “I still think Kirsten’s best days are still ahead of her. She didn’t play in middle school either so going from only having played in high school to signing to play in college is a pretty big accomplishment.

“Octavia has played a little longer. She’s probably the one who can make an impact (for GNTC) right away, but I’m very happy to see that all three will be moving on to play college basketball.”

While the Lady Bobcats are still searching for a new head coach, GNTC athletic director David Stephenson said he was excited to have the LFO trio in the fold.

“They all three came highly recommended,” he said. “We had heard a lot about them from Coach Watkins and others who had seen them play. Two of the three bring some good size that we need and having three that came from the same program provides a little chemistry. A couple of them also played with (LaFayette’s) Chelsea Ludy, who signed with us earlier in the week so that should provide even more chemistry. Plus, we’re just excited to again get some players from LFO.”