On the surface, it might appear Ebuka Anyaorah's decision to attend McLennan Community College just over a month after leaving the University of Georgia is a step back in his basketball career.
However, the North Gwinnett grad and former Daily Post all-county guard sees playing for a season at the Waco, Texas, junior college powerhouse as a chance to move his career forward.
"The main reason was that I felt like I was a step behind (at Georgia)," Anyaorah said earlier this week of his decision. "I can play (at McLennan), I can get my confidence back. The competition they play at on a junior college level is really impressive. They've got a good supporting cast, and they're also a junior college program with a lot of tradition."
Indeed, the Highlanders have won 997 games and 24 conference championships -- including a North Texas Junior College Athletic Conference title after a 27-5 record this season -- in their 44-year history.
More importantly to Anyaorah, McLennan has had more than 100 players over its history go on to play at NCAA Division I programs, including three -- Jerry Everett, Vinnie Johnson and Sam Worthen -- to eventually play in the NBA.
The 6-foot-4 swingman is hoping to jump-start his career at McLennan after a disappointing two years at Georgia.
His career was delayed after he was forced to take a medical redshirt in his freshman season following surgery to repair a stress fracture in his tibia.
When he returned to the court last season, he showed promise at times, but saw only 10.5 minutes of playing time per game, averaging 2.7 points and 1.4 rebounds per game, including a season high of nine points in the Bulldogs' win over Florida on Feb. 27.
That led him to seek a change of scenery and head west, a direction he was originally headed out of high school.
After averaging 26.3 points -- second best in the county behind eventual Georgia teammate Howard "Trey" Thompkins of Wesleyan -- 8.3 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game as a senior at North, Anyaorah initially gave a verbal commitment to Colorado before backing off a day later and eventually signing with Georgia.
"I wanted to stay closer to home at the time for selfish reasons," Anyaorah said. "But I really don't think (Georgia) was the best fit. Now, I need to make the best decision for the opportunity, rather than location."
A good season for McLennan could open up Anyaorah's opportunity further, as he still has three seasons of college eligibility left heading into this fall.
He has already talked with a few Division I programs about his future.
"I've talked to a few big schools," Anyaorah said. "I guess the biggest ones are Oklahoma and Baylor."
But since he would've had to sit out a season had he transferred directly to a Division I school, he felt playing a year at junior college was a better option.