VHS beats Yazoo; Ammons headed to elite Nike camp|[06/12/08]

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 12, 2008

A busy summer is about to get a lot busier for one Vicksburg High basketball player.

Mychael Ammons, a 6-foot, 5-inch rising sophomore, one of the most highly touted players in America, scored the last seven points in the Gators’ Wednesday Night League game with Yazoo City and left today for the prestigious Nike Camp in St. Louis.

“It’s been tiring,” Ammons said of his summer. He then said a quick goodbye to Gators coach Dellie C. Robinson following Vicksburg’s 43-36 win over visiting Yazoo City. “Got to go to St. Louis.”

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Mychael AmmonsIn a little more than three weeks, Robinson’s Gators have played more than 21 games. This includes 14 games in the 17-team Central Mississippi Basketball League, a handful of Wednesday Night League games like they played against Yazoo City, and a trip to the Mississippi State basketball camp.

“I would say we’re about 14-7 so far,” Robinson said. “We’re 10-3 in our league and we went 4-4 at Mississipi State. Two of the losses at State were to Leflore High School out of Mobile.”

Leflore won Alabama’s Class 6A title in 2007 and lost in the semifinals last season. Leflore is led by 6-9 center Demarcus Cousins, who has committed to UAB.

“The first time we played them, they beat us 20. Then we got them again in the tournament and they beat us nine, but it was a much tougher game,” Robinson said.

As for the rest of the summer, VHS will play six more league games, play in the Southern Miss basketball camp on June 27-29 and then conclude with a league tournament. This summer the league includes Hinds AHS, Murrah, Lanier, Clinton, Canton, Terry, Callaway, Crystal Springs and Brookhaven.

Robinson says the goal for the Gators this summer is to build a bench.

“We have a real good five. But in the district we’re in we need eight or nine guys,” Robinson said. The Gators play in Division 3-4A, arguably the toughest division in Mississippi. Three divisional teams, including the Gators, finished in the top eight in the state.

Gone from last year’s 28-9 Class 4A State Tournament team is All-State guard Jonathan Phelps. Replacing his 25 points a game has fallen to Ammons, rising junior Kelsey Howard and rising senior Maurice Williams.

“We’re pretty settled with Denzell Erves at the five, Mychal at the four, Maurice at the three and Kelsey at the two. We’re still not set on a point guard. Both Roosevelt Harris and Dominique Brown have been going at that spot. Behind them we’re playing a lot of young guys trying to establish our bench,” Robinson said.

Chris Smith, a 6-3 junior forward, has found a role as the team’s sixth man.