Lovejoy High celebrates six student-athletes with signing ceremony By Luke Strickland

LOVEJOY — Lovejoy High held a signing day Wednesday for six student-athletes who will continue their athletic or academic careers in college.

Four members of the girls basketball team — Symone Williams, Brittany Smith, Amber Thornton and Taylor Borum — signed to continue their careers. Williams and Smith committed last month to Miles College and Atlanta Metro State College, respectively. Volleyball player Cierra Sillmon also committed last month to Georgia State, and signed on Wednesday.

Lovejoy also honored basketball manager Aryanna Rogers, who has been accepted to Georgia Tech.

Thornton and Borum found their schools just days prior to the signing ceremony. Thornton will be a preferred walk-on at Georgia State, while Borum will play at Paine College in Augusta.

Thornton was an All-County selection during her senior season. She was Lovejoy’s most versatile player and was often in the middle of positive plays for the Lady Wildcats.

According to Thornton, she spoke with Clayton State and Georgia State over the last year. Thornton eventually sparked a relationship with the coaches at Georgia State — where she planned on attending school. Georgia State decided to bring Thornton on as a walk-on with an opportunity to earn a scholarship.

“I’ve been to a couple games. Their gym is very nice and their games are live from what I’ve seen,” she said. “The campus, the fact that it’s downtown, that’s where I want to be. I think that Georgia State is the perfect place.”

Borum was offered on Tuesday by Paine College. She was an important member of the 2016-17 Final Four team as well.

“I was really excited. I felt like I was the only senior who didn’t have anywhere to go,” Borum said. “It was perfect timing, everything was perfect. It was a relief. I get to go somewhere and I get to do what I want to do.”

The signing ceremony was an important day for girls sports at Lovejoy. The basketball program in particular saw that fantastic team play will result in individual success.

“I would have never thought that all four of the seniors in my class would have been getting scholarships but we did,” Thornton said. “All I can say is that I’m proud of us and that I hope we all do great things in college.”