The Wolfpacker

May 2012

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

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N BASKETBALL RECRUITING ISSUE BY JACEY ZEMBAL C State signee Rodney Purvis has become a top-20 prospect nationally, played on national TV in all-star games and won numerous awards. Purvis and fellow Wolfpack signee T.J. Warren added to the recent run of talented players from the Triangle area — John Wall (Kentucky/Washington Wizards), C.J. Leslie (NC State) and Ryan Kelly (Duke) — that have recently played in the McDonald's All-American Game or back on the weekends as often as pos- sible. Plymouth has helped shape him into becoming a good student, role model and's No. 12-ranked player in the country. "I try to go back every other weekend, and my grandmother [on his mom's side] lives on the right side of the road, and my great grandmother stays on the left side of the road," Purvis said. "I just walk from across the street when- STRONG ROOTS To Represent His Home State Rodney Purvis Is Proud Jordan Brand Classic. The 6-4, 195-pound Purvis of Raleigh Upper Room Christian Academy earned a spot in both games, and had 22 points in an MVP effort for the East squad in the latter game April 14 in Charlotte. The Jordan Brand Classic was a fitting end to his prep career because it gave his extended family and friends the chance to gather in one spot and watch him play. "I came up with MVP, which is some- thing I wanted to do," said Purvis, who from, you can make the best out of what you have." ■ Purvis "I came from nothing and a small town, but I want to show people that no matter where you are said the trophy is sitting in the middle of the dinner table until they find a more permanent home. "About 80 of my family members came, and they all spent time and money to come see me play. That was the first time they all came to see me play. I just wanted to make them happy with my play." Family is very important to Purvis, who lived in Plymouth, N.C., until moving to Raleigh when he was 12 years old. Plym- outh, about an hour northeast of Green- ville, has a population is 3,798. Purvis loves his hometown and gets 26 ■ THE WOLFPACKER here [to Raleigh]. I'm always hugging or catching up with someone. It's like a re- union when I go back. "People say to never forget where you come from, and that's why I claim Plym- outh is where I come from." Tragedy struck before Purvis was born on Feb. 14, 1994, but family and friends in Plymouth rallied around him. "My dad [Rodney Lee Purvis] was shot and killed in 1993, so that was already something negative to start off with," Pur- vis said. "I grew up and it wasn't until I was about 8 years old that I realized my father was gone. I grew to be really close with my dad's mom, Virginia Midgett. I spent my early childhood days with her." Purvis' two grandmothers helped take care of him while his mother, Shanda Mc- Nair, pursued her college degree at North Carolina Central. Purvis loved going down Folly Road, a long dirt road just east of the down- town area of Plymouth. Midgett passed away a little after he started living with his grandmother on his mom's side on Second Street. He'll never forget the morning Midgett passed away. "I woke up that morning, and my mother was crying really bad," Purvis said. "I was 8 or 9, and I didn't understand what was going on, but I knew something was going on. No one wanted to tell me. "My aunt, Kalilah Purvis, called to tell my mother. We all drove to Folly Road to where my grandma was. I still didn't know ever needed. My family is always home, but my grandmother will also come up what was going on until I saw my grandma carried out in a body bag. That's when I understood she was gone. That was really tough on me." Purvis threw himself into sports not long afterward and began playing basketball when he was 10 years old. He also was a potential standout in football. "I started playing basketball at the local recreation center on Washington Street," he recalled. Purvis played for the Plymouth Runnin Rebels when he reached the age of 12 and remembers going against the Garner Road Bulldogs. He soon joined Garner Road and moved to the Raleigh area. "They were the hottest team and going out of state, and things like that," Purvis said. "I came back for 13-and-under with Garner Road and started playing with T.J. Warren." Purvis was dedicated to being the best

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