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Posted at 2:14 PM ET, 02/15/2011

Gwynn Park guard lands at Howard after father refused to sign NLI

By Josh Barr

Brandon Ford last October signed a National Letter-of-Intent to play for the Loyola Greyhounds. Twice.

Yet last week, the Gwynn Park senior point guard committed to play for the Howard Bison. He plans to sign an NLI during the spring signing period that begins April 13.

This is a far different story than this year's bizarre story from football signing day, when the mother of a player forged her son's signature on NLI to the school she wanted him to attend, Mississippi, instead of where he wanted to sign, Texas A&M.

Instead of adding a signature to the NLI, Kevin Ford simply refused to put his signature on the NLI for Brandon Ford to receive a scholarship to play for Loyola. NLI regulations stipulate that a player under 21 years old needs the signature of a parent or legal guardian on the NLI.

"At first, I was thinking what is going on? [Loyola] was where I wanted to go and where I wanted to play," Brandon Ford said. "I was really upset."

Kevin Ford told his son that he wanted him to look at other colleges because Loyola did not offer Brandon's first choice for an academic major, physical therapy. Brandon Ford, though, still tried to get his father to sign the NLI to play for Loyola. After Kevin Ford refused once, Loyola assistant coach Luke D'Alessio came to Gwynn Park with another NLI.

"I signed it and I was waiting for my dad to come to school and sign it, but he didn't come," Brandon Ford said.

Brandon also tried going to his mother, Rhonda, for her signature. "But she was on my dad's side," he said.

While the Fords told Loyola that Brandon would still consider the Greyhounds, Loyola recruited a different player instead. Last week, Brandon Ford committed to Howard, which is coached by Kevin Nickelberry, a former co-worker and close friend of Gwynn Park Coach Mike Glick.

"I want to do for Howard what Lamar Butler did for [George] Mason," Ford said.

By Josh Barr  | February 15, 2011; 2:14 PM ET
Categories:  Basketball, Brandon Ford, Gwynn Park, Howard, Loyola  
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Fathers knows best! Howard U. is a good choice; with the signing of two other local kids...Howard may be on its way to building a respectable national program. With the signing of a few more talented players from the area, this could be possible. I would like to see more kids of his calibur sign with D-1 HBCU's...remember the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) back in the day. Talvin Skinner, Joe Pace and a guard by the last name of Rose were talented enough to complete with any team in the country! Hats off to you Mr. Ford.

Posted by: laboyde | February 15, 2011 10:36 PM | Report abuse

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