The Wolfpacker

May 2012

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

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Page 26 of 79

BASKETBALL RECRUITING ISSUE able to meet former NC State player Avie Lester, who coached various sports and was the athletics director at the school. Purvis was already well known in the Triangle area to prep basketball fans before he played his first varsity basketball game. He was on the cover of The Raleigh News & Observer and getting compared to Wall. The hype machine would swallow up some kids, but Purvis seemingly took it in stride. "When I came to Upper Room, that's when I became known nationally, and my AAU took off after that," Purvis said. "Coach Edwards just stayed with me no matter what and had my back." Purvis considers Edwards the first father figure in his life. "He invested so much time in me," Pur- vis said. "He would deal with me and my attitude. With my father deceased, there was never really a man who yelled at me like that. Tony was the first man to actually yell at me and enforce some discipline. I'll always appreciate him for that." Purvis has always remained loyal to Plymouth, and he did the same with Upper Room for four years. "Everything ended up working out for the best," Purvis said. "Upper Room was a great move for me and helped me spiritu- ally. I don't regret anything, and I still have my friends to this day, and my support system. I didn't lose anything." Purvis eventually moved back to the class of 2012, essentially not having a true junior year in basketball, and originally picked Louisville for college during the fall of his sophomore season. When the Cardinals lost some assistant Purvis earned MVP honors in the Jordan Brand Classic after scoring 22 points for the East squad April 14 in Charlotte. football and basketball player he could be, but it looked like hoops was about to lose the battle between the two. "I just kind of hit a wall that year," Pur- vis said of playing with Warren on the Garner Road 13s. "Nothing really went well for me that whole entire 13-and-under year with basketball. I was frustrated a lot and couldn't perform well." Purvis was ready to quit basketball and concentrate on football, but his mom wouldn't let him. "I was ready to give up hoop] because I thought it wasn't for me anymore," Purvis said. "I was playing rec football and won MVP and got all the awards in football." Traveling team coach Tony Edwards believed in Purvis' basketball potential and started to work with him. The relationship has lasted to this day, first with D-One PHOTO BY JACEY ZEMBAL Sports and then the Chris Paul All-Stars. "He invested the most time in me," Pur- vis said. "In the summer, we put on the weight vest, went to the gym, and ran hills all summer long. We were running through the woods." Everything was looking up for Purvis, who was a standout in basketball in the seventh grade at East Millbrook Middle School in Raleigh and also the starting quarterback. He transformed himself into becoming one of the top players in his class nationally in middle school and joined the Greensboro Warriors 14s AAU organization before eventually moving on to Chris Paul team. Purvis decided to blaze his own trail by repeating the eighth grade at Raleigh Upper Room Christian Academy, a new school off of Rock Quarry Road. He was coaches and NC State hired Mark Gott- fried and his staff, Purvis became the No. 1 priority. He eventually committed to the Wolfpack on Sept. 30, 2011 and then watched with excitement when the pro- gram reached the Sweet 16. The hometown standout will be going to his hometown college, but he'll always have a special spot for Plymouth no matter where his journey takes him. He knows he's starting over again in college, just as he did when he left his hometown at 12 years old. He is symbolizing the move by wearing No. 0 this season. "I thought about everything and growing up, and when I think back on Folly Road, there is nothing there," Purvis said. "I came from nothing and a small town, but I want to show people that no matter where you are from, you can make the best out of what you have. I wanted a fresh start and No. 0 will remind me that I came from nothing and that I have to go out and get it, fight and compete to help provide for my family." ■ MAY 2012 ■ 27

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