FORT PAYNE — No Cornerstone Christian Academy boys basketball player may ever reach some of Matthew Ferguson’s career stats.
It’s a big reason why the school decided to retire Ferguson’s No. 10 basketball jersey during its graduation ceremony last Thursday.
With the idea that some of Ferguson’s career stats will likely stand forever in CCA’s athletic history, along with his instrumental role in starting the junior high and varsity boys basketball teams, the school’s athletic club decided to retire his jersey.
The jersey retirement was a surprise to Ferguson, being revealed during CCA’s graduation ceremony.
“It was just a very, very cool moment,” Ferguson said.
Ferguson was sitting in his seat, prepared to be introduced and give his salutatorian address, when teacher and basketball coach Luke Laney told the audience that the school would be retiring Ferguson’s basketball jersey.
On stage, a plaque with Ferguson’s No. 10 jersey with his last name across the back was uncovered and Ferguson followed the presentation with his speech.
Ferguson finished his high school basketball career at CCA with 1,708 points, with 1,410 points scored exclusively in varsity games. He was a starter and team captain for each of the first three years on the varsity team.
Spanning four high school seasons, Ferguson achieved all-tournament and all-star recognition.
“(Ferguson) loved our school and he also loved the sport,” CCA athletic director Heather Harrison said. “He rose as a leader and chose to invest his talent there. He was that older person that others followed and allowed for others to have opportunities.”
Ferguson’s basketball career began when he was in third grade. He played for three straight years at CCA before having to quit because there was no junior high basketball team at the school.
“I really didn’t realize how much I missed basketball until it was completely gone,” Ferguson said.
Keeping basketball in his life, Ferguson volunteered with CCA’s youth teams. He helped coach and round up basketballs during practices.
Ferguson returned to the court as a freshman player after CCA joined the Alabama Christian Athletic Association.
“It was really important for me, seeing basketball go from Cornerstone and seeing it brought back; that was really impactful,” Ferguson said.
Ferguson said he plans to attend Northeast Alabama Community College on an academic scholarship with major interests in English and marketing communications.
Bryan College in Dayton, Tenn., offered Ferguson a track and field scholarship. Ferguson said he plans to transfer to the college after two years at NACC.