Last-minute choice paid off for Safford, Bates

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Last-minute choice paid off for Safford, Bates

Postby Tom Nolette » Fri Mar 13, 2015 9:07 am

Last-minute choice paid off for Safford, Bates

...Tournament pressure is only new to Safford at the college level. He starred in high school at Camden Hills, where he helped the Windjammers to a Class B championship in 2009, and Hampden Academy. Basketball provided refuge while Safford’s father, David Hollis, fought a lengthy battle with brain cancer. He succumbed on Christmas 2010. Safford bears a tattoo of a cross and the day of his dad's death on his left bicep. During those challenging days, Safford declined a scholarship offer from Division I Longwood University in Farmville, Va., and signed with Bates. The decision came during the Bobcats’ “early decision” period, but there’s no denying it was a last-second decision, as well. “I didn’t know too much about Bates. I didn’t visit that many times,” Safford said. “I explored all the opportunities it gives academically and athletically, and I thought it was a good fit. I'm glad I'm here." On the court, the fit has been like a custom-made pair of sneakers. Safford has scored 1,232 points, No. 11 on Bates’ all-time list. He leads the New England Small College Athetic Conference in minutes played with 36.6 per game and tops the team in most major statistical categories, averaging 15.7 points, 6.3 assists, 5.1 rebounds and 1.7 steals per contest...

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