Their two-year stint with the South Georgia State College Hawks is over, but Antonio Vendola of Fernandina Beach and Will Ferguson of Yulee will keep playing basketball.
Vendola signed with St. Thomas Aquinas College, a private liberal arts college in Sparkill, N.Y. Ferguson will be playing at Presbyterian College, a private liberal arts college in Clinton, S.C.
“Antonio has done nothing but overachieve in his time here at SGSC and will always be remembered,” Head Coach Cory Baldwin said.
Vendola played in 63 games in two seasons, starting every game his final season and helping lead the Hawks to a 25-7 record. The former Fernandina Beach High School point guard was named the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association Player of the Week on Nov. 25, 2019, and was named to the GCAA All-Academic Team both seasons.
Vendola is the 10th all-time three-point shooter for a season with 54 at SGSC. He’s seventh in career three-pointers made with 74 and is the all-time leader in charges taken with 119. He’s ninth in career assists with 167.
“He has a chance to be named Academic All-American if he finishes out this semester,” Baldwin said.
Vendola was twice the all-Nassau County most valuable player as a Pirate. He averaged 13.3 points, 3.8 rebounds, 2.8 assists and two steals per game as a Pirate.
“It’s no surprise to anyone that Antonio continued to be successful beyond high school,” FBHS Head Coach Matt Schreiber said. “He has an incredible work ethic, loves the game and loves his teammates. He has earned everything he has gotten, and everyone is proud of him.”
The STAC Spartans will compete for their fourth conference regular season championship, a fifth conference tournament championship and sixth straight NCAA tournament appearance when the seasons kicks off in November.
“I loved how they won games, and it felt like a family environment,” Vendola said of STAC. “Even though I didn’t get to visit, I could tell through the phone that this was family.”
“Antonio is simply a guy who makes winning plays,” STAC Head Coach Tobin Anderson said. “He can play both guard positions, loves to defend and competes at a high level. He is a veteran guard who fits the profile of the player who helps us win games.”
Vendola isn’t the only Hawk from Nassau County spreading his wings.
Ferguson, a graduate of Yulee and two-time all-county player, will join the Blue Hose at Presbyterian College.
“I am extremely proud of Will becoming a Division I player,” Baldwin said. “He worked and earned it from day one here at SGSC.”
Ferguson started and played in every game for two seasons with the Hawks. He is the second all-time rebounder with 468 boards and is the all-time school leader for career field goal percentage at 55.1%. He was named to the GCAA All-Freshman Team during the All-Star Game and was named a National Junior College Athletic Association Academic All-American as a freshman.
“He should be named one again this season once they are named in May,” Baldwin said.
His final season at SGSC, Ferguson averaged 11.5 points per game, made 60% percent of his field goal attempts (third in conference) and shot 75% from the free-throw line.
His eight rebounds per game was sixth in the conference. He was seventh in the conference in rebounds per game, and he was second in the conference and 15th in the NJCAA in offensive rebounds. He placed fifth in the conference in blocked shots, was 18th in points per game and 10th in total points scored.
Ferguson and Vendola are both Phi Theta Kappa members.