DONNA — Eddy Epperson knows all the ins and outs of the Donna High boys basketball program.

A four-year letterman, Epperson has been around the team for a decade as his father, Manuel Epperson, was an assistant before becoming the boys basketball head coach in 2016.

From working the scorebook during Donna away games, to becoming a standout scorer and defender the last four years, he’s done it all.

Now, the younger Epperson is ready to take his game to the next level as he signed a national letter of intent to play college basketball at Our Lady of the Lake in San Antonio on Thursday at Donna High School.

“This day means a lot. It’s all about family, God, and getting another opportunity to showcase my talent at a college,” Eddy Epperson said. “I’m pretty happy.”

He started chasing the dream of playing college hoops as a freshman. It was his older sister Tatyana’s college basketball signing during his freshman season that put the wheels in motion.

“I thought high school was the biggest stage growing up being a part of this atmosphere of high school basketball. When I saw my sister sign my freshman year, I wanted to be just like her,” Epperson said.

He helped lead Donna to back-to-back postseason appearances during his junior and senior seasons. Epperson took on the challenge of defending opposing teams’ top scorers as he averaged 2.4 steals as a sophomore before upping the number to 4.1 as a junior.

During his senior season, however, Epperson flipped a switch and put on his scoring hat by averaging 16.9 points per game and 4.3 steals while also dishing out 4.9 assists.

“It’s been pretty neat. He’s put in a lot of work all his life,” coach Epperson said. “We always stressed the academics first and basketball is on the back side, but once things started falling into place and he started going to camps and people noticing him, it turned into maybe he can go play. Coaches started reaching out and it became a reality.”

Epperson elected to stay in Texas at Our Lady of the Lake, a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics school competing in the Red River Athletic Conference.

He’ll remain close to Donna, and his father, who helped shape his hoops career.

Donna’s Eddy Epperson hugs his father and Redskins boys basketball head coach Manuel Epperson after signing a letter of intent to play basketball at Our Lady of the Lake University – Photo by Donna ISD.

“It was a blessing (playing for his father). I wouldn’t want any other coach,” the younger Epperson said. “We bumped heads all the time, but it was all love. I have nothing but love for that man.”

With a new challenge on the horizon, Epperson isn’t changing his game. He’s playing to his strengths as a player who puts teammates in position to succeed and a defensive leader.

“They’re getting an unselfish point guard. That’s how I’ve been since middle school and freshman year,” he said. “I’m just blessed to become a part of another team.”

bramos@themonitor.com