Posted: 12:31 am Wednesday, January 28th, 2009

Walford to try football next season 

By Jason Lieser

Have you seen those asinine LeBron James commercials where he announces he’s going to play for the Cleveland Browns? It’s about to happen for real at Glades Central.

Raiders junior basketball star Clive Walford, whose versatile game bears some resemblance to LeBron’s, said he will join the football team as a senior. He is 6-5, 210 and plans to play tight end. After the football season, he will return to the basketball team.

His decision is unusual, especially considering he is enjoying a breakout season on the basketball court. Walford is averaging 13.0 points and 15.7 rebounds per game and beginning to generate recruiting interest.

But football is king at Glades Central. An assistant football coach from a BCS school stopped in Belle Glade on a recruiting visit and noticed a feature article on Walford posted in athletic director Henry Cook’s office. When Cook escorted the coach to the gym for an up-close look at Walford, he told Cook, “we need to get that kid in pads.”

Raiders basketball coach Edwin James said he supports Walford’s choice and noted that it could expand his college options. If Walford is unsatisfied with his offers to play basketball at the next level, there is a possibility he could earn a football scholarship.

Walford played tight end for the Raiders as a freshman, so football is not a completely new venture for him.