Sometimes when things aren’t going as planned, it’s good to make a change.
For Alante Feener, the change of scenery is like a breath of fresh air.
Fenner spent two years playing basketball at Savannah State before deciding it was time to part ways with the Tiger program.
“The main reason I decided to leave Savannah State was because I was out of position,” states Fenner. “
Catching Up With…..Alante Feener
I have been playing the point guard spot my whole entire life and that’s what I was being recruited as and that is what I thought I was going to play at SSU because on my visit that’s what I played. I got tired of playing out of position and wanted to play for a program where I could be the leader and coach (Gary) Edwards and coach Dushawn Davis gave me that opportunity. I have been leading all year. I feel I made the best decision of my life.”
When Fenner speaks of Edwards and Davis, he is referring to his new coaches at Francis Marion,a Division II school who competes in the Peach Belt Conference..
So far, Fenner says he has adjusted well to his new surroundings. “The new surroundings at Francis Marion were tough at first because I had to make new friends and leave all my old friends at Savannah State, but I love the environment and everything has been smooth so far. Of course it is not the same as an HBCU, but I needed to get away and re-focus.”
At press-time, Fenner has put up some good statistics, averaging 14.6 points, 4.7 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game.
Earlier this season, Fenner had a career-high 36 points against Lenoir Rhyne which was four points shy of the FMU single game scoring record.
When asked about the similarities of playing in the MEAC, where SSU competes and playing in the PBC, Fenner replied “the similarities I would say is the competition. It is pretty equal, but anyone can win on any given night in the Peach Belt (Conference). That’s the same way it was in the MEAC, no matter how many wins/losses you have, anybody can win depending on who shows up to play.”
“Coach Dushawn Davis was the person I connected with the most during my recruiting period. Almost every school in the Peach Belt contacted me, but Francis Marion stuck out the most and also they wanted me to play my position, so I am very thankful for them. Everyone else kind of wanted me to play off the ball, but I’m best with the ball in my hands.”
FMU finished with a 13-15 record last season but the current squad has already won 16 games which is proof that Fenner’s presence is making a difference.
“When I came on my visit, coach explained to me how they didn’t really have any leadership and I use what I learned from Savannah State being on a D-I level to dominating at the D-II level. I bring energy, toughness — basically everything my mama always taught me to be, the best in every aspect of the game so I try to make sure I try to be the best all-around player I can be and I do whatever it takes to win! I was brought here to help change the program.”
Edwards, the head coach, is happy that Fenner is a now a Patriot. “Alante has given our team much needed experience at the guard position. His ability to penetrate has created scoring opportunities for himself and for his teammates.”
The 6-5 Fenner who hails from Lake Wales, Florida was in Savannah on February 10 when Francis Marion took on Armstrong State in a Peach Belt Conference match up.
FMU jumped out to a 20-8 lead but could not hold on as Armstrong battled back to defeat the Patriots 81-79.
With several of his former SSU teammates in attendance, Fenner didn’t start but came off the bench to contribute 10 points.
“ I keep in contact with most of my old teammates at SSU because we did so much together. Those are my brothers and we all still hang out from time to time . I miss SSU every once in awhile, but Francis Marion was a great choice and I’m around a great group of guys who make me forget about SSU at times and I’m thankful.”