There’s a new day for the Texas College Steers basketball team.
Make that Maye Day.
Wendell Maye, a 6-2 senior guard from Daphne, Ala., averaged 31 points as the Steers tipped off the season with a pair of victories.
The versatile guard displayed an all-around game, averaging 7.0 rebounds, 3.5 steals and shooting 64.5 percent from the field and 61.5 percent from 3-point range. The performances earned Maye the honor as Red River Athletic Conference men’s basketball player of the week for the dates of Oct. 29-Nov. 4.
“He’s explosive and he can score in bunches,” Texas College head coach Marquet Norfleet said. “He knew what I was requiring for him to bring to the table this year. Wendell is humble. What I respect about his is everything is ‘no, sir, yes sir.’ I probably stay on him harder than anyone because of the potential we have. But like I tell him, we can’t get caught up in what’s gone on so far because we got so long to go.”
Maye played two sports at Daphne High School, earning all-region honors in football and basketball. His football team, a five-time state finalists and two-time state champion, reached the title game his senior year, losing to national power Hoover.
He figured his best shot in college centered around the hardwood, thereby playing basketball two seasons at Enterprise Ozarks Community College (Ala.) before joining the Steers.
“Junior college and NAIA ball are kind of the same, a bunch of athletic guys that like to get up and down the floor,” said Maye, a criminal justice major whose hometown lies on the outskirts of Mobile, Ala. “It wasn’t a hard transition. Texas has been good to me. Coach Norfleet stays on me and makes sure I do the right thing. I need that.”
As a junior, Maye averaged 13.7 points, 3.0 assists and 2.2 steals per game on a Steers team that lost to nationally-ranked LSU-Shreveport on a buzzer-beater in the conference quarterfinals. Maye stepped up his role with three-year all-conference selection LaDarren Williams gone, and the Steers awaiting talented players to join the team, such as Jamal Robertson, last year’s leading scorer leader, and former Louisiana all-stater Antonious Markray.
“Last year I came in and (looked) at is LaDarren Williams and Jamal Robertson’s team,” Maye said. “Now LaDarren Williams is gone, and since Jamal’s not here right now, I had to step up and cover for the team. I told him I’d hold it down until he came back.”
Maye posted 30 points and 10 rebounds in a season-opening 89-83 win over Tougaloo (Miss.). The Steers scored the first 11 points, forcing a timeout, with Maye turning toward the crowd and vividly showing his excitement to the fast start.
“I was just thinking about us losing on that buzzer beater last year,” said Maye, who compares his style to Allen Iverson being an undersized scoring guard. “And letting everyone know we’re here now. The season is here, it’s time to get going.”
The Steers see the potential for even greener pastures down the road if they keep the early blueprint to victory lane.
“This is the best team I’ve ever been on,” said Maye, who netted 32 points in TC’s 97-88 win over Philander Smith (Ark.) a week ago. “We’ve got a bunch of players that can do multiple things and are not selfish. As long as we play team ball, we’ll be pretty successful.”
STEER SCOOP: The Steers play Saturday in a doubleheader at Philander Smith in Little Rock, Ark (women-2 p.m.; men-4 p.m.). The Steers end their football season at Southwestern Assemblies of God Saturday, with kickoff set for 2 p.m. at Lumpkins Stadium in Waxahachie.