All-County Basketball: Vicksburg’s Sims is Warren County’s top player for the second time

Published 12:00 pm Sunday, March 27, 2022

When he starts talking about Destini Sims, it’s hard to get Troy Stewart to stop. The Vicksburg High girls basketball coach dishes out compliments as effectively as his senior guard dished out assists during her stellar high school career.

“Destini Sims has been a godsend to coach, to mentor, to be around. She is just the perfect child. She’s an outstanding ballplayer. She’s got one of the highest IQ’s I’ve ever coached. I love the lady,” Stewart said.
Sims had the skills to go with all of the intangibles, too.

Sims averaged in double figures in points each of the past three seasons. The Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College signee filled up other columns on the stat sheet with more than two steals per game for her career and six rebounds per game this season.

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Sims, quite simply, did a little of everything and more to help turn the Missy Gators into an MHSAA Class 5A contender. And now she’s finishing her high school career as The Vicksburg Post girls basketball Player of the Year for the second time.

“Once again, it’s just a blessing. Thanks to God, thanks to teammates, coaches, my family, friends, supporters to keep pushing,” said Sims, who was also the Post’s Player of the Year in 2020. “It’s a blessing. All of the hard work is starting to pay off — all the late nights and early mornings, extra workouts and extra shots.”

Sims is the ninth person to be the girls Player of the Year more than once, but the first to do it in non-consecutive seasons. She was an All-County selection in 2021, then had another outstanding campaign this season.

Sims’ 11.2 points-per-game average was her lowest since her freshman season, but she made up for it by averaging a career high in rebounds while maintaining her strong presence on the defensive end. She averaged 2.5 steals, as well as 1.8 assists, per game.

Her production also helped the rest of the Missy Gators to thrive. Three of her teammates averaged 9.5 points or better as Vicksburg finished with a 21-8 record and reached the third round of the MHSAA Class 5A playoffs. VHS won 20 or more games in two of the last three seasons.

“I’m very proud to be a part of this,” Sims said. “My teammates, I’m proud of them. Hopefully next year they do what they want to do, and go to the Big House and win a gold ball. They deserve it. We all deserve it.”

Sims’ teammates should ably carry on where she left off. She’s the only senior on this year’s roster. Although Sims provided plenty of leadership, she said it was one of the easier parts of her job. There are nine juniors on the roster that Sims has played with for the past five years. So even though she was a year older, there was never a true age gap between her and her teammates.

“It really wasn’t any different. The girls I played with were mature. It was just like playing with another senior. They’re coachable and good teammates,” Sims said.

Sims’ next step is college basketball. She signed with Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College this week, picking them from among a half-dozen scholarship offers. It was the final achievement of her stellar high school career, and the first of what she hopes will be many more to come at the next level.

“I’m very proud. A lot of stuff I have done would not be accomplished without my parents. Thanks to the coaches and teammates pushing me to do extra workouts, especially my dad, he’s always been there in my ear,” Sims said. “There’s mornings you might not want to get up, but in the long run they’re going to pay off.”

Vicksburg Post Girls Basketball Players of the Year
2022 – Destini Sims, Vicksburg
2021 – Yakia Burns, Porter’s Chapel
2020 – Destini Sims, Vicksburg
2019 – Aniya Sanders, Warren Central
2018 – Amber Gaston, Warren Central
2017 – Amber Gaston, Warren Central
2016 – Karry Callahan, Vicksburg
2015 – Karry Callahan, Vicksburg
2014 – Karry Callahan, Vicksburg
2013 – Ann Garrison Thomas, St. Aloysius
2012 – Ama Arkorful, Vicksburg
2011 – Donyeah Mayfield, Vicksburg
2010 – Donyeah Mayfield, Vicksburg
2009 – Sha’Kayla Caples, Warren Central
2008 – Sha’Kayla Caples, Warren Central
2007 – Sha’Kayla Caples, Warren Central
2006 – Sha’Kayla Caples, Warren Central
2005 – Cookie Johnson, Warren Central
2004 – Cookie Johnson, Warren Central
2003 – Cookie Johnson, Warren Central
2002 – JaQuita Benard, Warren Central
2001 – E.J. Willis, Porter’s Chapel
2000 – E.J. Willis, Porter’s Chapel
1999 – Catrina Frierson, Vicksburg
1998 – Catrina Frierson, Vicksburg
1997 – Cynthia Hall, Vicksburg
1996 – Lakeshia Blue, Warren Central
1995 – Tangie Cooper, Warren Central
1994 – Tangie Cooper, Warren Central
1993 – Tangie Cooper, Warren Central

About Ernest Bowker

Ernest Bowker is The Vicksburg Post's sports editor. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post's sports staff since 1998, making him one of the longest-tenured reporters in the paper's 140-year history. The New Jersey native is a graduate of LSU. In his career, he has won more than 50 awards from the Mississippi Press Association and Associated Press for his coverage of local sports in Vicksburg.

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