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Portrait of a legend: Keyes Currie honored by EMCC

By Staff
IN MEMORY J. K. Briggs presents Katherine Currie with a portrait in memory of her late husband, Keyes Currie, as former East Mississippi Community College players look on. Photo by Paula Merritt/The Meridian Star
By Marty Stamper/staff writer
Jan. 11, 2002
SCOOBA  When it comes to basketball at East Mississippi Community College, the first name that immediately comes to mind is that of the late Keyes T. Currie Sr.
Currie spent 32 years at what was then called East Mississippi Junior College as either coach or athletic director.
Between games Thursday night with Meridian Community College, EMCC honored Currie again with the unveiling of a portrait designed by Michelle Ridout of Village Prints in Florence, Ala.
While at EMJC, Currie had 32 all-state performers and eight NJCAA All-Americans.
The Lions finished state runner-up four times and played in seven regional tournaments and one small college national tournament. Only seven of his seasons ended with losing records.
A native of Raleigh, Currie's high school team won a state championship in basketball. The thrill of winning apparently stuck with Currie.
He also won state championships as a coach at Collinsville High School before joining the junior college ranks. One of his Collinsville teams is credited with going an incredible 62-0.
His 1954 EMJC Lions were undefeated before losing to Itawamba in the state championship game.
One of those who knew Currie from his beginning at EMJC is current EMCC president Dr. Thomas L. "Tommy" Davis Jr.
While Currie was undeniably successful on the court, Davis admired his classroom skills just as much.
Currie is as well-known with EMCC basketball as Bull Sullivan is with the team's football program and Gerald Poole is with the school's baseball program.
Currie was previously recognized by EMCC when the school named its gymnasium in his honor on Jan. 16, 1986. Today it is known as the Currie Coliseum and is the home of the Lion and Lady Lion basketball teams.
Currie died on April 29, 1989, at the age of 71.
He was inducted into the EMCC Sports Hall of Fame on Oct. 20, 2001.
The EMCC Keyes Currie Memorial Division is selling prints of Currie for $50 each. To purchase a print, send a check for $50 to the EMCC Development Foundation, Keyes Currie Print, P.O. Box 188, Scooba, MS 39358.
The original painting is being auctioned. Bids may be submitted at the same address or by e-mail at Please include your name, address, and phone number. The auction winner will be announced on Feb. 21 at the final home games of the year.