Richard LeCounte III will play football for UGA in 2017, but he’s a state champion on the basketball court tonight.
LeCounte helped spark Liberty County to a 58-52 victory against defending Class 4A state champion Jonesboro at the Centreplex in Macon. Jonesboro was the defending state champion but fell to a Panthers squad which improved to 28-1.
Liberty County also won the first state championship in school history on Thursday night. LeCounte also told DawgNation that he was recently also offered a basketball scholarship to UGA.
The future UGA safety was tasked with shadowing Jonesboro standout M.J. Walker. ESPN.com rates Walker as a five-star basketball recruit and the No. 8 player in the nation for 2017.
LeCounte shadowed Walker (22 points, five rebounds) effectively and came away with a 20-point night of his own. LeCounte was Kirby Smart’s first football commit and he’s a U.S. Army All-American on the football field. He came into Thursday’s state championship game averaging 20.6 points per game for a team in the midst of a 25-game win streak.
The nation’s No. 2 athlete for football for 2017 broke out with a 14-point first half and also added nine rebounds and two assists.
When the horn sounded, he made sure to break out one of his famed backflips on the court. He even finished off one of his answers in his post-game interview with a “Go Dawgs” as he discussed the victory.
LeCounte plans to enroll early at UGA next January. He’s already been an active recruiter for the program since he committed to play for Smart.
5-star safety, backflip extraordinaire & UGA-commit Richard LeCounte helps lead Liberty County to the 4A title 58-52 pic.twitter.com/42AlK4K7QY
— Craig Sager II (@CraigSagerJr) March 4, 2016
— Jeff Sentell (@JeffSentell_) March 4, 2016
Unless otherwise indicated, player rankings and ratings are from the 247Sports Composite.
Jeff Sentell covers UGA football and UGA recruiting for AJC.com and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow him on Twitter for the latest on who’s on their way to play Between the Hedges.