Texas A&M walk-on point guard Mark French has been put on athletic scholarship, according to a video tweeted by head coach Buzz Williams.
Coach, thank you again!!! Forever thankful for our relationship & all that I am learning from you and from the transition these past 8 months. The reaction from my teammates (& everyone else in the room) means way more to me than any scholarship!! Truly special. #getBetter https://t.co/Qq4yNuBJdk— Mark French Jr (@M1French) January 10, 2020
“Coach, thank you again!!” French tweeted in response to the video. “Forever thankful for our relationship & all that I am learning from you and from the transition these past 8 months. The reaction from my teammates (& everyone else in the room) means way more to me than any scholarship!!”
With depleted depth at point guard, made worse by the early-season transfer of TJ Starks, French has been called into significant action in all 13 of A&M’s games this season. He earned his first start of the season on Nov. 20 against Troy and has started five more games since.
The senior has averaged 2.2 points and 1.1 assists per game this season, but the measure of his worth to the program has been felt in the locker room, where he has provided veteran leadership to the team and freshman starting point guard Andre Gordon, Williams said.
“French has been phenomenal with [Gordon] in that regard,” Williams said Thursday. “Like, otherworldly, in regards to how French has coached Dre with French knowing that the more Dre does better, the less French plays.”
French, who graduated from Plano Prestonwood Christian Academy, walked onto the Aggie squad for the 2016-17 season under former head coach Billy Kennedy. Toward the end of his junior season, Kennedy awarded French a scholarship, which was not renewed when Williams took over before this season.
On Thursday, after watching a replay of a charge French drew during the Aggies’ home win over Ole Miss, Williams handed French a box that contained a pair of socks, which is the customary gift for any player who draws a charge, and a piece of paper that stated he would be put on scholarship.
After he read the notice, his team hopped over tables to celebrate with the veteran.
“This was NOT given, it was earned!” Williams tweeted.