Weems' World

Arkansas' basketball program adds a third signee to its nationally-rated early signing class with the official addition of UAFS star Sonny Weems (6-6, 200), the nation's top junior college hoops player.

Thursday night, Sonny Weems was on ESPN's SportsCenter for the first time.

Friday, the Arkansas-Fort Smith standout added another highlight to his career, signing a letter of intent to play at Arkansas -- once he found the right letter.

Weems signed along with teammates Hatila Passos (New Mexico State) and Fabio Nass (Miami). When he sat at the table to sign, Nass' letter was in front of him.

"This ain't my name," Weems said as his teammates, family and coaches looked on.

Eventually, though, Weems did sign with Arkansas.

"He is a very exciting player," Arkansas coach Stan Heath said in a release. "To add a player with two years of experience who is a native Arkansan is big for us.

He will make an immediate impact."

Weems is the third player to sign with the Razorbacks during the early signing period that began Wednesday, Michael Washington, a power forward from Genesis One Prep in Mendenhall, Miss., and Stefan Welsh, a shooting guard from Hargrave (Va.) Military Academy.

Weems (6-6, 200) was named Street & Smith's junior college player of the year and is rated as the top player in the country by Juco Junction. He will likely play the two or the three spot at Arkansas.

One of the reasons Weems waited until Friday to sign was so his parents, Darrel and Sherry, and his brother D.J. could attend the event.

"I'm excited that he's going to playing for the University of Arkansas. That was my personal choice but we wanted to allow him the opportunity to make his own choice," Darrel Weems said. "I'm thrilled to death that he chose Arkansas."

Weems averaged 17 points, five rebounds, two assists and two steals as a freshman for UAFS. His final choice came down to Arkansas and Tennessee.

"He will excel in our up-tempo style," Heath said. "He's great in the open court. He's very unselfish and does more than score. He has a lot of skill in several areas and could be a premier defender in the SEC next season."

Thursday afternoon, UAFS coach Jeremy Cox informed Weems a dunk he made earlier in the week would be featured on ESPN's SportsCenter. Weems and his teammates gathered around a campus television to watch the highlight.

"I ran out of the room when I saw it," Weems said. "My whole team ran out the room, they congratulated me."

Later in the night, Weems' dunk was No. 3 on the show's Top 10 plays of the night.

"We didn't get much sleep last night. We wanted to see it over and over again," Darrel Weems said. "It was exciting."

When Weems was a baby, Sherry Weems knew it would take a lot for Sonny to ever walk normally, much less be a Division I basketball player.

Weems had to wear braces on his legs to correct a foot problem. Weems didn't even start playing basketball until he was 10 or 11, Darrel Weems said.

"By the time he turned three he was all right," Sherry Weems said. "The first time he put his hand on the ball, we knew what it was going to be like."


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