Five local hoopsters set up for state junior colleges

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 13, 2010

National signing day for junior colleges was last Thursday. Warren County’s version came on Monday.

Four players from the county’s high schools signed with Mississippi’s junior colleges. Another, Warren Central’s Deshaundra Eatmon, delayed her signing but is expected to commit to Mississippi Delta next week.

Eatmon’s WC teammate Ricille Davis signed with Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, while Vicksburg’s Alexus Stirgus signed with Copiah-Lincoln.

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On the boys’ side, Vicksburg’s Chris Miller also signed with Co-Lin, as did 2009 graduate Maurice Williams.

“We would’ve liked to have signed everybody. We felt like Ricille was what we needed for our program. It’s definitely a talented group from here,” Mississippi Gulf Coast women’s coach Melanie Stone said.

Davis was a potent inside-outside threat who averaged 15.6 points and 8 rebounds per game this season. Her role changed a bit during her senior year, from an inside post player to more of a small forward.

WC coach Jackie Martin-Glass said the switch was done partially to prepare the 5-foot-6 Davis for the next level, when she’ll be expected to handle the basketball more and battle for rebounds less.

“And I thank her for it,” Davis said with a laugh. “You have to be more confident with the ball. But I believe if I put my mind to it I can do it.”

Stirgus, who was a four-year starter at point guard for the Missy Gators, already has solid ball-handling skills. She averaged almost two assists per game last season.

Still, she said she can — and needs to — get better to crack the Lady Wolves’ lineup. Co-Lin went 31-2 last season and reached the semifinals of the NJCAA national tournament.

“You can always get better at something. I want to improve on my ballhandling and shooting,” said Stirgus, who hit 31.7 percent of her 3-pointers and averaged 13.1 points per game last season. “I love to watch tape, and I love to improve by watching film of myself.”

Stirgus’ studies don’t focus only on basketball. She wants to go to pharmacy school, and Co-Lin has a program for that. She’s in the top 10 in her class and picked Co-Lin as much for its academics as its strong basketball program.

“I could’ve gone to a four-year school and just gone, but I wanted to play basketball so this is what I chose to do,” Stirgus said. “They have a pharmacy school. I can start off there. They have astounding academics, and that’s what I looked for.”

Vicksburg coach Barbara Hartzog said Stirgus’ strong work ethic will carry her far, both in basketball and in life.

“She’s going to be ready because of the way she works and her knowledge of the game,” Hartzog said. “She sees the floor so well. You run with her and she’s going to get you the ball.”

Contact Ernest Bowker at