NASHVILLE --- Tennessee State men’s basketball alumnus Xavier Richards (St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands) signed his first professional contract to play for Club Cambelen in the Dominican Republic.
"I'm sure I speak for all of us when I say how extremely proud of and happy we are for Xavier," TSU Head Coach Dana Ford said. "He is now not only a graduate of Tennessee State but also going on to fulfill his dream of being a professional basketball player."
Richards suited up for the Tigers during the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons after transferring from Baltimore City Community College. The 6-2 guard appeared in 61 games, averaging 5.7 points and 3.9 rebounds during his time in Nashville, helping the Tigers to a 20-win season as a senior in 2015-16.
Richards trained in Florida and suited up for the U.S. Virgin Islands in international competition since graduating from TSU in 2016.
“TSU turned me into a hard worker,” Richards said. “Coach (Dana) Ford really placed hard work in my game. That’s all I knew from my time at TSU and my experience in my two years there. Nothing is given, and you have to earn everything. That’s how I took it, and I stayed positive and it worked out.”
Richards becomes the fourth player – joining Keron DeShields, Tahjere McCall and Wayne Martin – as TSU alums who have gone onto professional careers after playing for Ford during his time as head coach.
- Richards put up 6.7 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game during the 2014-15 season in Ford's first season at the helm.
- He went on to post 4.6 points, 3.0 rebounds and 0.7 assists per game as a senior in 2015-16.
- Richards helped the Tigers finish with a 20-11 record and earn a berth in the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament during his senior season.