Two former local basketball standouts continue to find their names atop national collegiate leader boards. Both Zach Roddenberry (Salem) and Bernard Thompson (Rockdale) were each among the top players in a statistical category coming into Thursday games.
Roddenberry, a senior at Harding University (Searcy, Ark.), was third in Division II in field goal percentage (66.3 percent, 126 of 190) heading into the Bison's Thursday game at Southern Nazarene University. Harding has ridden the stellar play of Roddenberry to its finest stretch of the season. After a 92-86 win over East Central University (Roddenberry had a game-high 28 points), the Bison have won nine consecutive games.
In 19 games, the former Salem standout is averaging team highs in scoring (17.7), rebounding (7.7) and free-throw percentage (80 percent, 83 of 104).
Roddenberry is no stranger to the top of the field goal percentage leader board. The 6-8 forward was Division II's top shooter (70 percent) a year ago as a junior in being named a first-team all-Great American Conference selection.
Thompson, a sophomore at Florida Gulf Coast (Ft. Myers, Fla.), was sixth in Division I in steals per game (2.73) through the games of Jan. 29. Thompson's lofty mark in the defensive category came off the heels of the 6-3 guard's six-steal performance in Gulf Coast's blowout win over Stetson last weekend. The Eagles had nearly a week off before traveling to Jacksonville to take on North Florida on Thursday night.
Thompson has started all 22 games for Gulf Coast and hasn't been just a defensive force for the Atlantic Sun school. He's second in scoring (average of 13.7 points) and is averaging 1.8 assists per game.
Notebook: Former Heritage basketball player Juron Dobbs is enjoying his senior season at Clayton State. Dobbs, a senior forward, is second on the team in rebounding (averaging 6.1) and has also chipped in an average of 8.5 points. In Clayton State's recent victory over North Georgia, which snapped a four-game losing streak, Dobbs had a game-high 10 rebounds and added six points in just 22 minutes. The Lakers hosted Georgia College on Thursday.