Vicksburg’s Williams signs with Alcorn State, Bailey with Holmes

Published 8:40 pm Wednesday, April 17, 2024

The last time Vicksburg High had a boys basketball player sign with a Division I college, Davian Williams was just picking up a basketball for the first time.

On Wednesday, he picked up the ball and ran with it.

Williams, the 2024 Vicksburg Post boys Player of the Year, signed with Alcorn State on Wednesday to become Vicksburg’s first D-I signee since 2011.

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He had a couple of junior college offers from Copiah-Lincoln and Mississippi Gulf Coast, but said the fit with Alcorn and the chance to go to a Division I school right away were too good to pass up.

“I just felt like it would’ve been a better decision for me, even though it’s going straight to D-I. I talked to the coaches and checked what guards were leaving their program and stuff like that,” Williams said. “I feel like I can play the point guard role that’s made for Alcorn. With my ability, I can do what’s best for them and best for the team.”

Several other VHS players — including Williams’ future Alcorn teammate Cameron Butler — have matriculated to the Division I level after first going to junior colleges. Williams is the first to sign straight out of high school since Mychal Ammons signed with South Alabama 13 years ago.

Williams, a point guard, averaged 21.1 points, 5.5 rebounds, 2.1 steals, and 5.0 assists during his senior season. He was also the MVP of the Mississippi All-Star Game following his junior season.

“Everybody dreams about it. When you dream for it, you’ve got to do it. You’ve got to make your dreams come true,” Williams said. “It’s a big blessing for me, with what I’ve been through and what I came from and stuff like that. I just want to thank God.”

While Williams signed on Wednesday, his teammate Kameryn Bailey joined him for a belated celebration. The 6-foot-7 forward signed with Holmes Community College in December, but did not have his ceremony with family and teammates until now.

“I feel like it’s been official, but it’s more knowing that it’s official,” Bailey said.

Bailey did not play for VHS until his ninth-grade year, and then mostly sat the bench until a growth spurt and improving skills finally meshed together.

Bailey moved into the starting lineup as a junior, and this year averaged a double-double with 14.5 points and 12.8 rebounds per game.

“He probably came over here maybe 5-10 or 6 feet. All of a sudden you look up and he’s 6-7,” Gators coach Kelvin Carter said. “He didn’t play junior high ball. He started playing in ninth grade and was basically on the team. Then when the light bulb came on at the end of his sophomore year he really started to work and get strong. He always had good footwork and good hands. He just continued to get better.”

Bailey said he signed with Holmes because he likes the way head coach Jason Flanigan uses and develops post players like himself.

“They’re getting bigs and not sticking in the paint. They can go out and shoot the 15-footer,” Bailey said.

Carter agreed that it was a good match of player and system.

“He’s a great fit at Holmes. Flanigan is a great coach and a great developer,” Carter said. “(Bailey) will play at a four-year school.”

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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